NU Online News Service, Jan. 5, 2005, 5:10 p.m. EST

A Stamford, Conn., company has acquired control over a firm that fills temporary gaps in consumers’ health coverage.[@@]

The acquirer, Independent Holding Company, has bought an 80% stake in Health Plan Administrators Inc., Rockford, Ill., for $9.6 million in cash.

HPA was founded in 1939 and now markets short-term and temporary medical insurance products through the Web and through a network of 39,000 agents and brokers.

HPA is reporting $23 million in premium revenue for the 12-month period that ended Oct. 31, 2004.

A third company, Insurers Administrative Corp., Phoenix, is buying 20% of HPA’s stock, and it will help Independent run HPA, Independent says.

Mike Kosloske, the president of HPA, will continue to be HPA’s president, but Scott Wood, chief operating officer of Insurers Administrative, will be HPA’s chief executive, Independent says.