Cigna Plans Broader Medicare Advantage Offerings

Fresh from the completion of the Express Scripts acquisition, Cigna CEO David Cordani plans to broaden the insurer’s offerings to more seniors choosing Medicare Advantage plans as part of a major business expansion in coming years.

Cigna’s disclosure this week at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference comes as the insurer and its rivals including Aetna, Anthem, Humana and UnitedHealth Group are expanding into new geographic regions to sell more Medicare Advantage products. All of these insurers are taking advantage of a market of more than 10,000 baby boomers aging into the Medicare population every day.

“We are well positioned today and going forward for existing and new markets,” Cordani said of future MA offerings . “Today, Cigna focuses on the individual, not the group M.A. marketplace. The group M.A. marketplace presents a future growth opportunity for us.”

Cigna has more than 435,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees, which is far fewer than UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana. But Cigna and an increasing number of other insurers see a bigger opportunity as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services changes rules allowing health plans to provide richer benefit packages to attract more seniors to Medicare Advantage plans.

Cigna is also looking to offer new less restrictive health plans that allow seniors more choices outside of health plan networks by introducing preferred provider organization (PPO) plans for Medicare Advantage enrollees. Unlike PPOs, HMOs restrict doctor choices to their networks. Cordani didn’t disclose a timetable for the PPO offerings.

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