Efforts to cope with a soft medical stop-loss market hurt results at Independence Holding Company during the third quarter.

IHC, Stamford, Conn., is reporting an $8.4 million net loss for the third quarter on $106 million in revenue, compared with $4.1 million in net income on $93 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2006.

IHC added $15 million to its reserves for medical stop-loss business written in 2006 and 2007, the company says.

Both the frequency and severity of claims from business written in 2006 have increased, IHC says.

Trends for business written in 2007 are hard to gauge, but IHC is increasing reserves for those policies to be on the safe side, the company says.

Early indications are that pricing should start to harden in 2008, IHC says.

- Health Benefits Direct Corp., Radnor, Pa., an insurance distribution startup, is reporting a $3.5 million net loss for the third quarter on $8.6 million in revenue, compared with a $4.1 million net loss on $7.3 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2006.