KANSAS BLUES PROVIDES ELECTRONIC ENROLLMENTBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has partnered with Mount Pleasant, S.C.-based Benefitfocus.com Inc. to provide electronic enrollment to a select group of clients for the fall open enrollment season. The technology enables both group administrators and members to make benefit elections, update information, and run reports in a secure online environment. Topeka-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is the largest health insurer in the Sunflower state.

WAUSAU BENEFITS REDESIGNS WEB SITE WITH CUSTOM PORTALS

Wausau Benefits, a Wausau, Wis.-based third-party administrator and a Fiserv Health company, has redesigned its Web site. The new site provides benefit information through customized portals for members, employers, providers and producers. Each portal has pertinent data specific to that user group, making it more convenient and expedient. The site gives health plan members one-click access to claims, benefit coverage and health information in a secure environment. They also have online tools to help them evaluate medications, providers and health information. Employers and producers will be able to monitor plan performance, download reports and access individual enrollment and benefit information for employees.

PENNSYLVANIA INSURANCE DEPARTMENT ENHANCES SITE

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has launched a "licensed producer" search on its Web site. This feature enables consumers to verify that they are dealing with a licensed professional. Consumers can search by license number, last name, business name or by city and state. The results will display the types of insurance the individual or business is licensed to write, as well as when the license expires. Another enhancement to the site is the ability to search for enforcement actions by last name. Enforcement actions are now listed alphabetically so that consumers can more easily look up the name of an insurance producer or insurance company. Consumers can access the new searches by logging onto www.insurance.state.pa.us and clicking on the "Find an Insurance Producer" or "Find a Business Entity" links on the right hand navigation bar.

AGENTS AND BROKERS ENDORSE E-MAIL PRODUCT

The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Washington, D.C., has endorsed the registered e-mail product of Los Angeles-based RPost. RPost provides a solution aimed at eliminating many of the shortcomings inherent in standard e-mail. It does this by proving delivery to every Internet mail destination and provides verifiable evidence of the transaction in case a dispute arises. For each Registered e-Mail sent, users receive a digitally sealed receipt, which enables them to prove-under standards of the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA)-that a message was sent, delivered, as well as providing the exact time and precise content of the message and its attachments. The RPost system does not need to store any e-mail or authenticating information and does not require any action or special software for the recipient, according to the company.

CHUBB CREATES ONLINE E&O APPLICATION

The Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., Warren, N.J., has developed a tool to help agents, brokers and their information and network technology clients save time and money when applying for errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Chubb's E&O SMART Application creates customized new and renewal E&O applications based on the nature of a company's operations. The new technology provides an online repository for creating, completing, submitting and tracking applications. Throughout the application process, agents and brokers can communicate in real-time with their clients through a private and protected Web site, eliminating the need for additional phone calls, faxes and e-mails. Because this technology helps Chubb realize a cost savings, a 5% credit on Chubb's E&O policy premium is available for information and network technology companies who use SMART Application with their agent or broker.

ZURICH LIFE JOINS E-Z DATA'S DATAXCHANGE

Zurich Life, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banc One Insurance Holdings, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co, has joined the DataXchange Online user community. DataXchange is a data aggregation solution for the insurance brokerage industry provided by E-Z Data Inc., Pasadena, Calif. Carriers use DataXchange Online to exchange new business and policy information with their independent distribution channels. Using DataXchange Online, carriers can provide their distributors with continuously updated pending case status, eliminating the need for application status requests, according to E-Z Data.

THE STANDARD OFFERS MAP SERVICES

Standard Insurance Co. a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group Inc. is offering a fee-based service that allows plan sponsors to designate The Standard as the "manager of the approval process" (MAP) for retirement plan loans and distributions. Using this service, plan sponsors may choose to transfer the administrative burden of the approval process, evaluation of hardship conditions and distribution of funds to The Standard. The MAP service coincides with the enhancement of an online service that enables retirement plan participants to initiate paperless loan and distribution requests using The Standard's Personal Savings Center Web site.

INSURANCE.COM OFFERS COMPARATIVE QUOTES

Cleveland-based Insurance.com has expanded its Web site to enable consumers to instantly compare auto insurance quotes from more than a dozen carriers including Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Safeco, Esurance and MetLife Auto & Home. When ready to purchase insurance, users can complete the transaction online or talk directly to an agent. The site also has an enhanced learning center with more than 100 frequently asked question and 200 articles on topics such as "How to Switch Auto Insurance Companies" and "Top 10 Ways to Cut Your Medical Bills."

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