BLUE SHIELD: Launches Online Health Insurance Sales
Blue Shield of California announced yesterday the first Internet-based, paperless sales process for health insurance. SASH Communications Inc., a Silicon Valley-based company specializing in online sales for health insurance, designed the new program. According to Blue Shield, its new online system allows it to approve applications in minutes, cutting the approval/processing time by up to 95%. Dr. Charles Kennedy, Blue Shield's director of strategic informatics, said: "With SASH Communications we're moving in Internet time. In less than six months from the time we joined forces with SASH Communications, our brokers started selling health plans over the Internet. This system allows Blue Shield of California the best of all worlds --reduced processing costs, better service to our broker-based distribution channel and improved service to consumers." Broker Bob Heckley said consumers will benefit from the new system. "Most consumers want a decision ASAP even if they request a future effective date. Online applications give us the opportunity to serve our customers in the quickest way possible," he said. Blue Shield of California is a nonprofit plan that serves about 2 million Californians (Blue Shield release, 8/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.