Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Announce National Marketing Agreement

Alliance Provides Rapid Approval Process to BCBS Member Plans Nationwide

Sunnyvale, Calif.- November 29, 1999 – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and (, a leading Web site offering on-line applications for major medical insurance from a choice of leading companies, today announced a national marketing agreement facilitating the online health insurance purchasing process for millions of consumers.

Under the agreement, BCBSA will work with its member Plans to provide rapid approval of individual health insurance applications directly to This arrangement will compress the approval time for all applications that do not require additional physician information. Financial terms of this deal were not disclosed.

“ is a leader in the online health insurance market,” said Jody Voss, BCBSA Executive Director of Business Development “Many of our Member Plans are already offering their products through the web site, and has become a significant distribution channel. Through eHealthInsurance, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans will be able to provide rapid approval on the Internet for individual health insurance applicants, further improving the Blues’ commitment to customer responsiveness. will partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans to send individual health insurance applications in real time over the Internet using its proprietary Straight Through Processing (STP) Gateway. Use of the STP Gateway is expected to provide member Plans with significant savings in underwriting, data entry and re-work costs.

“Blue CrossР’В® and Blue ShieldР’В® are household names and the Association’s member Plans have a long history of providing consumers with quality healthcare across the United States and the world,” said Vip Patel, founder and CEO of “This partnership will benefit consumers by further reducing the approval time and continuing to improve overall customer service.” has agreements to provide health insurance products from Blue Cross and Blue Shield member Plans in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Washington D.C.


Founded in 1997, ( is the leader in online sales of health insurance. Its technology was responsible for the nation’s first Internet-based sale of a health insurance policy. is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Weiss, Peck & Greer. The management team and board include former or current executives of Healtheon, Pacificare, Foundation Health, Aetna, United Healthcare, Lincoln National, MetLife and other companies in the field.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a federation of 49 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies which provide health care to nearly 73 million — one in four — Americans. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies visit

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Emily Fox



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