Image source: Cigna

A Smart Buy That Help Cigna Breakthrough and Nonstop Rising

Idea abandoned by shareholders, stock digits hit rock bottom, Cigna was on the edge of free falling but the buy turns out triumph. Which is then a super boosting source and is the smartest deal Cigna have ever made.
By Ally Nguyen | 8 min read
on October 6, 2020
Image source: Cigna

In 1981, Insurance Company of North American and The Governor of Connecticut merged to create CIGNA. Under new management, Benjamin Rush, CIGNA introduces a new method to calculate risk assessment. Claims are reduced significantly and profit spikes. His new method is named ‘scientific underwriting’. 9 years later CIGNA International Financial Services is formed to offer life and health insurance products internationally. Afterwards the company mainly focuses on health insurance products. Until last year, in the wake of a failed merger with competitor Anthem, Cigna was finally able to close a deal with the acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, bringing along 164 million customers into its portfolio and ranked 65th on the Fortune500 as a result. And this year? Thanks to the revenue growth that exceeded even Cigna’s own pre-merger expectations: Adjusted revenues for 2019 soared to $140 billion, compared with the $131 to $133 billion originally forecast, CIGNA now is ranked 13rd above thousands of companies.

Cigna Corporation is a health services company. The Company offers medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. The Company's segments include Global Health Care, Global Supplemental Benefits, Group Disability and Life, and Other Operations and Corporate. Its Global Health Care segment aggregates the commercial and Government operating segments. Its commercial operating segment encompasses the United States commercial and certain international healthcare businesses serving employers and their employees, other groups, and individuals. Its Global Supplemental Benefits segment offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products in selected international markets and in the United States. Its Group Disability and Life segment provides group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life insurance, accident and specialty insurance and related services. Almost 2 centuries into the healthcare business through many ups and downs and never stop thriving, let’s break down a few highlights of Cigna!

Turn Down Shareholders, Cigna’s CEO Success in Express Script Deal

Cigna headquarters and Express scripts
Image Source: Modernhealth

Cigna CEO David Cordani took a victory lap more than a year after the health services group executed a controversial takeover of prescription manager Express Scripts. The company is pitching its ability to offer medical, pharmacy and behavioral health benefits to employer and government clients and that effort has been well received. Health insurers are melding Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) operations into a combined package of businesses to sell employers and government clients in an effort to treat the “whole person,” as Cordani says.

“We’re proving the combination works. We’re growing the company, as you noted” he told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview “We are working with a physician and a customer at the same time”.

When the acquisition was first announced in early 2018, Cigna shareholders disapproved of the deal, and the stock sold off more than 11% — its worst single-day decline in the past decade. However, this buy has pay off even better than expected. “Then we’re stepping into 2020 with a 10% revenue growth outlook and another double-digit earnings outlook in front of us” Cordani said in the interview. As much as we see, thanks to the deal Cigna is indeed producing a phenomenal amount of free operating cash flow.

Cigna released its better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report before the market opened. The health insurer brought in $36.5 billion of revenue and $977 millions of profit, or $2.60 per share. For the full year, Cigna had $140.2 billion in sales and $13.44 in earnings per share, up from $48.7 billion and $10.54, the year prior. Nonetheless, Express Script is the best booster and deal Cigna have bought so far.

Giant Cigna and Its Mighty Actions Toward Covid-10

As bad as the pandemic strikes, healthcare establishments are ones should show its faces at the moment, to make actions and show its value. Being a top-tiers in the field, Cigna is making many grand efforts!

a young lady at a COVID site handed package to drivers
Image source: Cigna

Protect Its Members from Covid-19 Surprise Bills

Surprise or balance bills can occur when an out-of-network health care provider bills a patient directly for the portion of their charges that exceed the fair and reasonable rate. The Department of Health and Human Services and several state governors have taken critical steps to prevent COVID-19 surprise bills, and now Cigna is taking further action to reinforce this protection for its customers, while ensuring that providers are paid promptly.

Therefore, Cigna is launching its new COVID-19 Customer Protection Program to further safeguard its customers from unexpected costs for COVID-19 care through "surprise" or "balance" bills from out-of-network health care providers.

"During these unprecedented times, we are standing with our customers, so those with COVID-19 can focus on fighting this virus and preventing its spread – not on their medical bills," said David M. Cordani, president and chief executive officer, Cigna. "We've taken early, bold actions so that Cigna customers won't have any out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 related care by our in-network provider partners, and we are actively working with out-of-network providers to achieve that same benefit. During this crisis, surprise billing can jeopardize a family's financial security and there are simply no excuses for that."

Cigna customers won’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 related care – whether at an office, an urgent care center, emergency room or through virtual care.

The company is taking further action to protect its customers who receive care from out-of-network providers by advocating that all health care providers bill fair and reasonable rates for COVID-19 related care.

Especially, Remove Its Own Meal – The Cost-Sharing?

Effective immediately, global health service company Cigna is expanding its support for customers during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating cost-sharing for all primary care, specialty care and behavioral health care in-office or telehealth visits for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care. This expansion applies to all U.S. customers enrolled in Cigna's Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans, including those sold on the Individual Marketplace. Additionally, Cigna is making enhancements to its Medicare Advantage meal plan benefits to further protect customers during this pandemic and underscore the company's continued commitment to enabling access to simple, affordable and predictable health care.

"COVID-19 has affected all age groups – physically, financially and emotionally," said Brian Evanko, President of Cigna's Government Business. "We want everyone to focus on getting and staying well – including those being tested for and diagnosed with the virus and their loved ones – and not having to worry about how they will access or afford the care and services they need." As a US Health statue, Cigna is really doing a lot to support and show its value to members.

Expanding Region Through New Identities and new Deals

Thanks to the fat profits of recent years, Cigna is on the way spreading its reputation and influence through many new buys. However, at the same time grasping the strong old relationships.

After Being Stood Up, Cigna Is Back With “Old Friend” Dignity Health

Dignity health hospital in California
Image Source: Freebeacon

Cigna Corporation recently welcomed back Dignity Health to its vast network after both the healthcare providers finally agreed on a new agreement. Notably, Dignity Health, which offers a diversified network of high quality and patient-centered services, primarily caters to health needs in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

The multi-year agreement, being effective from Jul 1, 2020, will benefit Cigna customers across California and Nevada. They will be able to avail affordable healthcare services provided by Dignity Health.

This agreement was reached after renewed negotiations and a long haul of nine months. It is to be noted that most of Cigna’s Nevada customers could not avail Dignity Health’s services from December 2019 after both the companies failed to come to an agreement last year. Following this, Dignity Health also became out-of-network for most of Cigna's California customers in January 2020.

Coming back to the latest move, this agreement lays the groundwork on which both Cigna and Dignity Health will continue to work together, thus, bringing about improved health outcomes in California and Nevada. Notably, both the companies have been doing the same since 1990s.

We also believe that this new agreement between the two healthcare providers is likely to provide relief to people across both the states, as the entirety of the United States is grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "This agreement ensures we can continue to provide outstanding, value-driven care for Cigna customers. We know how important access to high quality health care providers is, and we appreciate the patience of our patients, referring physicians, and Cigna's clients during these negotiations."- said Tammy Wilcox, Senior Vice President of Payer Strategy and Relationships for Dignity Health.

What’s Behind the New Identity “Evernorth”?

In September 2020, Cigna announces the launch of Evernorth, a new brand for its growing, high-performing health services portfolio. Evernorth will accelerate delivery of innovative and flexible solutions to meet the diverse needs of health plans, employers, and government organizations.

Tim Wentworth will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Evernorth, to bring together Cigna's vast array of health services capabilities, as well as those of partners from across the health care system, in pharmacy solutions, benefits management, care solutions, and data and analytics.  By coordinating best-in-class services, programs, and partnerships, Evernorth will transform them into comprehensive solutions that drive the most value for clients, customers, and patients. 

"As champions for affordable, predictable, and simple health care, Cigna is taking on the toughest challenges – from rising costs to increasingly fragmented care," said David M. Cordani, President and CEO, Cigna.

The Bottom Lines

Almost 2 centuries in the healthcare business, Cigna now is a coming-up-age giant, who is at its tipping point and ready to take over the field any possible time. Strong actions toward the Covid-19, its quarterly records in this crisis of meantime, and especially those new deals of expanding the “kingdom” has shown its power which is trustful and worthy.

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