Tag Archives: cigna

Cigna closes $54 billion purchase of Express Scripts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cigna Corp (CI.N) on Thursday closed its $54-billion deal to buy Express Scripts Holding Co, creating one of the biggest providers of pharmacy benefits and insurance plans in the United States, a combination it says will help it improve healthcare coordination and cut costs.

Cigna’s deal puts it in direct competition with two other healthcare companies set up the same way – Aetna with CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) with Optum. Cigna’s deal has already passed antitrust scrutiny.

Cigna will start offering new products next year to its corporate health insurance customers, including access to Express Scripts’ specialty pharmacy, which has cost savings programs in treatment areas such as cancer, its top executive said in an interview on Thursday.

Prescription drugs that require special handling and are delivered to a doctor’s office or patient home by specialty pharmacies are a growing part of employer healthcare spending and rising U.S. drug costs. Many new drugs costs tens of thousands of dollars when they are launched and drugmakers raise the price of older drugs once or twice a year.

The company will also try to improve products and services by integrating healthcare data, he said.

“There’s a lot of data available today but it’s either not aggregated in a singular place or coalesced in a way that’s intuitive,” Cigna Chief Executive Officer David Cordani said in an interview.

DPO Approves CINGA-Express Scripts Merger

The action brings together a major health insurer and a pharmacy benefit manager that some analysts say should help control costs by merging drug and medical benefits management.

To date, Cigna and Express Scripts have obtained clearances from departments of insurance in 16 states. The companies are working constructively with regulators in the remaining jurisdictions to obtain clearance for the merger. Cigna and Express Scripts continue to anticipate that the deal will close by year-end 2018, subject to the satisfaction of all closing conditions.

CIGNA to merge with Express Scripts

Cigna Corp (CI.N) shareholders on Friday voted in favor of the health insurer’s proposed $52 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O), although the deal still needs clearance from antitrust authorities.

The U.S. Department of Justice is still conducting an antitrust review of the combination that is not expected to close until later this year.

According to the preliminary results, about 90 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the merger, the health insurer said.

Cigna expects the merger to close by end of 2018.

CIGNA Opioid-related formulary changes

A communication is being sent to impacted Cigna clients in the next few days to announce updates on our July 2018 formulary changes.

Pharmacy costs are currently the number one driver of client expenses under both pharmacy and medical benefits.1 At the same time, opioid abuse continues to be a U.S. public health crisis according to the Department of Health and Human Services.2 To address these issues, Cigna’s formulary strategy will be updated to maintain high clinical value while continuing to use a low net drug cost approach to manage coverage for costly branded drugs. At the same time, we will build upon current steps to administer prescription drug coverage in a manner that promotes safe opioid use.

Effective July 2018* our formularies will be updated and Cigna will implement tighter utilization management around the use of opioids.

Customers (employees and dependents) affected by these changes (estimated to be less than 1% of customers3) will also receive a letter from Cigna in early April informing them of the change. Depending on the change, the letters contain steps to work with their doctor to find covered alternatives, prescribe lower quantity levels or apply for drug coverage approval through Cigna’s prior authorization process.

  • Click here to read a summary of Cigna’s July 2018 formulary changes.

Click the following links to view detailed (drug specific) changes for each of Cigna’s formularies. Clients will be sent the above summary and one of the flyers below based on their formulary:

CIGNA to acquire ExpressScripts

After CVS agreed to acquire insurer Aetna, CIGNA has agreed to purchase express scripts for $67 billion.  Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) in the country.  This continues the remake of the nations healthcare system through merger and acquisition:

 

“Aetna and CVS have said they hope to create “front doors” to healthcare through 9,800 stores run by CVS. That deal could turn many of the chain’s stores into one-stop-shop locations for an array of healthcare needs like blood work and eye or hearing care, in addition to their traditional role of filling prescriptions.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., which runs the nation’s largest insurer, is spending almost $5 billion to buy nearly 300 primary and specialty care clinics and some urgent care and surgery centres. That push will help the company steer patients away from expensive hospital care.

Another insurer, Humana Inc., is making a separate deal to better manage the care of its Medicare Advantage patients.”

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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