In an attempt to enhance the e-business capabilities of its 41 independent health insurance plans, which collectively insure more than 88.3 million Americans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has signed an agreement with Atlanta-based integrated Web-based sales and services automation solutions provider Connecture. Under the terms of the deal, member companies that decide to contract licensing agreements with the vendor for use of its distribution automation solution will receive pricing discounts.
The Association's decision to partner with Connecture was influenced by the vendor's track record in the healthcare industry. Rob Foster, business development consultant of Chicago-based BCBSA, reports that BCBSA was particularly impressed with work that Connecture had previously done with two of its independent member companies. "[BCBSA] liked Connecture's ability to offer insurers a product that requires little customization," Foster reports.
The Association is confident that BCBS plans that decide to acquire Connecture's product will be given the ability to reduce cycle times from weeks to days and offer straight-through purchasing capabilities, asserts Foster. "It will provide the ability to get product quotes instantly via the Web," he says. "Additionally, it will expedite the internal processing that has traditionally become cumbersome."
Connecture's Web-based solution automates the sales process including sales, underwriting, enrollment, fulfillment, renewals and group maintenance across all product lines and sales channels. BCBSA will communicate its endorsement message to the technology decision makers of its member companies through a number of channels. Foster reports that they will include BCBSA's constituency newsletter, webinars and the Association's annual e-business summit that features thought leadership lectures presented by member company's IT executives.