A.M. Best Company Affirms A- (Excellent) Group Rating Of All Carriers In The IHC Group

STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) today announced that A.M. Best Company has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit ratings of "a-" of Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc., Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York and Independence American Insurance Company. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

A.M. Best stated, "The ratings reflect the group's consistent profitability, the execution of its business strategy and its more than adequate risk-adjusted capitalization. Independence Holding's insurance operating companies, facilitated by strong relationships with various partners, continue to generate fairly consistent operating earnings across its many lines of business. Earnings continue to improve driven by increased medical stop-loss and group major medical sales in addition to more conservative underwriting, which has resulted in lower loss ratios." A.M. Best further commented, "The ratings also reflect the implementation of Independence Holding's strategic business plan to facilitate premium growth, which entailed selectively expanding its product portfolio and emphasizing lines that were expected to be only marginally impacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Recent product offerings include pet insurance, international medical and non-subscriber occupational accident from Independence American."

Roy Thung, Chief Executive Officer of IHC, commented, "We are very gratified that A.M. Best has affirmed our group rating of 'A- (Excellent).' In doing so, A.M. Best has recognized our organization's continuing product and earnings diversification, conservative underwriting and enhanced capital position. We are particularly pleased with the significant increase in interest in IHC's new stop-loss products for smaller self-funded groups and group captive arrangements.   Group captive arrangements provide an excellent alternative for small- to medium-sized employers to avail themselves of the advantages of self-funding while enjoying the safety in numbers afforded by the pooling of risk within the captive structure. We believe that stop-loss and ancillary products are becoming increasingly attractive options for purchasers of group health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act."

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 marketing and administrative affiliates. Standard Security Life markets medical stop-loss, group major medical, short-term medical, limited medical, group long-term and short-term disability and life, dental, vision and various supplemental products. Madison National Life sells group life and disability, group major medical, dental, individual life insurance and various supplemental products. Independence American offers pet insurance, non-subscriber occupational accident, international coverages, small-group major medical and short-term medical. 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.

Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered "forward-looking statements," such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC's ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC's other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements or earnings guidance, and does not undertake to provide any such guidance in the future.
CONTACT: ADAM VANDERVOORT         (646) 509-2156         www.IHCGroup.com

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