Cigna buys supplemental insurer for $305M

Cigna says it completed purchase of Great American Supplemental Benefits for $305M

Associated Press

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- Cigna Corp. said Friday it paid $305 million to purchase American Financial Group's supplemental insurance business, making it one of the biggest supplemental health insurance companies.

Supplemental health insurance helps pay for expenses that aren't covered by a person's primary insurance policy.

Cigna said the business, Great American Supplemental Benefits, had $300 million in premium revenue in 2011. It agreed to buy the company in May.

Cigna is the fourth-largest commercial health insurer based on enrollment, trailing WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc. It operates health care, group disability and life segments in the U.S., and has an international segment that sells individual insurance in several countries. The company also operates an expatriate business that provides insurance for people living outside their home countries.

In late January Cigna expanded its business by buying former competitor HealthSpring Inc. for $3.8 billion. That deal helped Cigna gain a bigger stake in the fast-growing market for Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the government's Medicare insurance program for the elderly and disabled.

Shares of Cigna rose 33 cents to $46.01 in morning trading.

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