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Health Insurance Innovations settles probe, ups buyback; stock jumps 19%

Health Insurance Innovations Inc. and subsidiary Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings LLC have reached a settlement agreement with state regulators related to a multistate market conduct examination.

Health Insurance Innovations has been under regulatory scrutiny since the second quarter of 2016 for marketing short-term, limited insurance products as Affordable Care Act-compliant, according to regulatory filings. The company was denied a license to write business in Florida, and the examination eventually expanded to 43 states.

As part of the settlement, the company will pay $3.4 million to the settling jurisdictions for the examination costs, administrative costs and compliance. The investigation's lead states will monitor the company's compliance with the agreement, and the participating states will release the companies from all market conduct examination-related claims, demands, interest, penalties, actions or causes of action.

The regulatory settlement agreement's provisions are subject to its execution in at least 25 of the 43 states.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper wrote in a note to clients that he believes most states will sign on to the agreement. He also pointed out that the deal does not compel Health Insurance Innovations to admit to any wrongdoing and said it should "remove most of the overhang" on the company's shares.

The company's shares soared 19.08% to $35.82 in the Dec. 13 trading session.

Also, Health Insurance Innovations' board has authorized an increase in its previously announced share buyback program to $100 million from $50 million of the company's class A shares.