We’ve been busy at IdeaStar Insurance Technologies. In addition to our staples of online individual health quoting, e-signature applications, and agent portal, we’ve got a couple new products that are taking flight.

Small group major medical quoting and enrollment process: We’re just about ready to launch an innovative Web site for small group major medical quoting, application, rating and enrollment. This seems to be the first of its kind in the United States. (Once again, Cleveland is leading the way!)

The system meets the requirements of new association health plan legislation. It automates the traditionally broker-based process and makes online quoting and enrollment accessible to small groups. Employers with two-to-10 employees, or two-to-50 employees will be able to enroll online with ease and significant cost savings.

This is ground-breaking stuff. If I were a carrier, I’d be thinking of ways to leverage this for other channels of distribution.

Agent licensing has also been generating a lot of interest among IdeaStar clients. Web enabling agent appointment processes for health and life carriers who handle hundreds or thousands of new agent appointments every year not only saves time and costs, but resolves accuracy and completion issues. Integrating third party licensing, vector and background checks into the process ensures a legitimate agent sales force. I understand for knowledgeable licensing veterans that this is also ground-breaking.

By the way, we are also getting ready to roll out our new line of business, Spinfield search engine marketing. We’ve provided the service to existing customers for over five years. But the demand is growing – evidenced by Google’s $50 billion in sales this year. I guess search engine marketing (online marketing that gets targeted buyers to your Web site) is definitely here to stay. We’re adding online marketing staff, designers, a podcast/videocast studio, and a Web site usability study area. I’m really excited about our expanded ability to promote client sites (although I could use less of the nail-banging down the hall!).

Well that’s enough rambling for now. I’m really thinking about turkey next week and who gets the drumsticks. We really do have a lot to be thankful for here at IdeaStar.