STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CIGNA and Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York (SSLICNY), a wholly owned subsidiary of Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) announced today they have forged a business relationship in which CIGNA will assist IHC's marketing of stop-loss insurance through Third Party Administrators (TPA) who serve middle to small market businesses that self-fund their health benefits.

"CIGNA provides self-funded clients with the cost effectiveness of the CIGNA-contracted physician, transplant, prescription drug and other networks, plus disease and large case management services. When combined with IHC's expertise in writing stop-loss insurance, this relationship can bring significant value to middle and small market self-funded employers," said David Kettig, Chief Operating Officer of IHC.

Through its three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company and Independence American Insurance Company) IHC has been a leader nationally in writing employer medical stop-loss for more than 20 years.

According to Ron Vance, President CIGNA Payer Solutions:  

"This relationship is part of our strategy to deliver value to employers who use Third Party Administrators to service their self-funded benefit plans through industry leaders like IHC. This relationship is in addition to CIGNA's flagship stop-loss business that we offer directly to our employer customers."

Mr. Kettig also added, "As a result of health care reform, we believe that smaller employers will increasingly see the virtues of self-funding and may need to purchase supplemental insurance to protect against catastrophic claims. IHC was one of the first carriers to adapt their product offerings to the new requirements under health care reform, including offering unlimited maximums, and we stand ready to quickly adapt to future market requirements."

For more information please CONTACT Joel McKeever at 212-355-4141 or visit www.ihcgroup.com .

About Independence Holding Company

IHC is a holding company principally engaged in the life and health insurance business and the acquisition of blocks of policies through its insurance company subsidiaries (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company) and its managing general underwriters, third-party administrators, and marketing affiliates.  Standard Security Life markets medical stop-loss, small group major medical, short-term medical, major medical for individuals and families, limited medical, group long and short-term disability and life, dental, vision and managed health care products. Madison Life sells group life and disability, employer medical stop-loss, small group major medical, major medical for individuals and families, short-term medical, dental, vision, and individual life insurance. Independence American offers medical stop-loss, small group major medical, short-term medical, and major medical for individuals and families. IHC owns certain subsidiaries through its majority ownership of American Independence Corp. (Nasdaq:AMIC), which is a holding company principally engaged in the insurance and reinsurance business.