In December 2003, a handful of insurance execs interested in starting their own business venture came up with an idea: an Internet-based distribution network that could cut application processing time and expense for carriers, give agents a more efficient and profitable way to write policies and provide consumers with competitive, lower-cost health insurance.Almost one year later, their dream became a reality in the launching of America's HealthCare/Rx Plan (AHCP), a subsidiary of Chicago-based Insurance Capital Management. The Web site, www.ameri-choice.com, has resulted in more than 5,000 new major medical insurance applications worth more than $10 million in premium revenue since its full launch last June. In addition, more than 2,000 independent insurance agents are writing health policy business for the site's principal carrier partner, Continental General Insurance, a division of Ceres Group, Cleveland.

Two other carriers are selling policies through the network, States General Life Insurance, Austin, Texas, and Central Reserve Life Insurance, Cleveland. Both companies offer products that serve as a complement to Continental General's offerings.

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