Health Insurance Innovations Statement on Bloomberg Article
Tampa, Fla. (September 19, 2019) – Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (HIIQ) issued the following statement in response to the September 17, 2019 article by Bloomberg.
HIIQ engaged and responded in depth to a range of questions from Bloomberg to educate its reporters about our business. Unfortunately, the article does not clearly reflect the facts and contains many inaccuracies that may serve to misinform readers.
HIIQ is an insurance technology company that operates a proprietary cloud-based technology platform that connects consumers to insurance carriers and distributors, helping to simplify the billing process for consumers in addition to providing a one-stop resource for important insurance documents and information.
HIIQ is not an insurance provider or carrier. As such, HIIQ do not process, adjudicate or pay claims, or otherwise participate in any type of coverage determinations. HIIQ is not a party to the contract between the policyholder and the carrier and is not responsible for underwriting or reimbursement.
Below, the Company clarifies the facts surrounding specific issues referenced in the Bloomberg article.
HIIQ’s success depends upon providing exceptional customer service. Last year, our customer service representatives handled 1.3 million calls, answering on average in under 5 seconds.
We work hard to hold our third-party distribution partners to the same high standard to which we hold ourselves, requiring each licensed agent to take non-negotiable training that sets out information that must be provided to a consumer during any sales conversation. For example, agents must notify the consumer whether pre-existing conditions are covered by a particular insurance plan, reiterate that some products are not ACA compliant, and provide the full name of the agent and agency, among other details, to fully inform the consumer about the product they are buying. Prior to completion of the policy purchase, the consumer must answer a series of questions to ensure that they understand the key issues of the insurance policy they are purchasing. If they do not answer all of these questions, or if they do not understand the coverage or the policy does not provide them with what they need, then the sale of the policy cannot be completed, and the agent then further addresses the customer’s needs.
We have terminated several third party distributors who have not met our requirements and removed their access from our platform. The article cites an example of an independent, third party distributor whom we terminated in 2016 and who has not accessed our technology platform in more than three years.
HIIQ’s Regulatory Settlement Agreement (RSA) relating to the previously disclosed Indiana-led multistate market conduct examination did not identify any wrongdoing or activities that violated the insurance laws, and the RSA specifically stated that it shall not be deemed or construed as evidence, or an admission, or acknowledgment by HIIQ of any wrongdoing or liability.
We are product agnostic and offer many types of insurance plans and products on our technology platform, with short term medical plans making up less than 25 percent of revenue in 2018.
Simple Health was one of approximately 100 third-party agents using HIIQ’s platform to sell insurance policies to its customers, and we terminated the relationship in 2018. HIIQ’s role with customers who bought policies sold by Simple Health is to collect premiums and provide non-claims customer service once the consumer has purchased a policy available on our platform. HIIQ is not a party to the contract between the policyholder and the insurance carrier or benefit provider.
Documents made available through the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) action against Simple Health demonstrate that Simple Health deliberately ignored HIIQ’s disclosure requirements and misled HIIQ regarding its sales practices, including editing recordings of sales calls with consumers and other deceitful practices.
Certain parties have filed suit against HIIQ alleging that the company was complicit in misleading consumers about the benefits provided by insurance products sold by Simple Health. HIIQ strongly denies these allegations and is committed to working with all relevant parties towards a constructive resolution. The lawsuits contain allegations, not proven facts. As previously announced, HIIQ will continue to defend itself vigorously against any misleading and inflammatory claims.
We do not condone or engage in illegal robocalling, and actively discourage it, requiring all third party brokers using our platform to certify that customer leads generated through telemarketing have consented to be contacted by phone.
HIIQ offers Active Prospect Trusted Form technology to third-party agents free of charge, which rejects sales leads for which the consumer has not given consent to be contacted or where the consumer is on the national Do Not Call Registry.
HIIQ also provides compliance training to third-party agents on Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules and expressly prohibits the use of sales and marketing robocalls to sell products available on the HIIQ platform.
HIIQ provides a very valuable service to consumers who need affordable health and life insurance, and we are committed to setting and meeting a high standard for compliance and customer service in our industry.