Market alert: Health Care Service Corp. to acquire Cigna’s Medicare business

What could be the implications for pharma and patients?

As the nation’s largest nonprofit operator of Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, Health Care Service Corp. has struggled to make major inroads into the increasingly popular and competitive Medicare Advantage segment. Despite selling MA plans across states where its Blue plans are the commercial market leaders, HCSC has been unable to catch on.

Cigna has struggled similarly beyond incremental growth in a handful of states as its for-profit competitors UnitedHealth, Humana, and CVS/Aetna have continually seen enrollment surge.

The Cigna business gives HCSC a stronger MA market share in Texas, especially in Houston. It could potentially grow its Medicare business in states where it lacks a Blue license, especially senior-rich states like Florida, Arizona, and Georgia.

This event summary will answer questions such as:

  • Will the acquisition give HCSC the Medicare boost it has long sought in states such as Texas?
  • Will the sale allow Cigna to devote more resources to its burgeoning health service-oriented subsidiary, Evernorth?
  • Will HCSC found a new subsidiary to oversee the sale of Medicare plans in states where it has no BCBS license?

Author: Bill Melville – Lead Healthcare Market Analyst, U.S. Market Access