With a plan to bring the Internet to low-tech insurance brokers, a US startup has doubled its staff in the past year and expects to ring up $20 million in sales next year.
Venture capitalists evidently like what they see: Channelpoint has raised $38.5 million in three rounds of financing from Mohr Davidow, Capital Z Partners and Intel Corporation.
Channelpoint provides software that connects health insurers, their brokers and companies over the Internet, so companies can play what-if scenarios and find the best insurance package for their employees.
This means companies can get their employees insured in three to five days, rather than today's average of six to eight weeks, claims Channelpoint.
Channelpoint's software called Channelpoint Insure is comprised of an electronic commerce platform and four advanced business modules that automate all phases of the distribution process.
The applications are Internet-enabled and built on an object-based, distributed architecture. The modules include Channelpoint Insure Rating which generates calculations based on census information, proprietary rating methodologies, state and federal resolutions and underwriting rules, guidelines and practices.
The Insure Quote electronically illustrates benefit plans and generates real-time proposals. It offers tailored responses and feature rates based on census and customer preferences. It can match plans to benefits requested or default to a carrier's pre-configured plan.
The third module, Insure Data, automates data collection, information verification and enrolment processes. It puts all enrolment information on-line, automatically flags missing data, generates task lists and assigns tasks to appropriate application processing employees.
The final module, Insure Risk offers complete information roll-up with all risk data required for reviewing group demographics, medical histories and other application information. It also assigns appropriate risk factors and rates based on business practices of the carrier.
Health care technology analyst Christopher Pavlic of the Aberdeen Group thinks eventually even most insurance brokers may become relics as consumers discover the appeal of creating self-customised policies.
"Over time, there will be more direct customer relationships," Pavlic said. "Channelpoint?s strategy of 'trying to augment, not destroy, the carrier-broker relationship' seems wise."
As of now, the system is optimized for US health, life and disability carriers but Channelpoint is planning European expansion.
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