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Cigna (CI) Extends Tie-Up to Offer Better Care in Connecticut

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Cigna Corporation CI recently inked a multi-year deal with Connecticut-based Hartford HealthCare, which will provide Cigna’s customers continued access to the broad-based network of hospitals, facilities and providers of the latter. The deal, which will come into effect from November 1 of this year, has been signed two months prior to the conclusion of the current agreement between the healthcare providers.

The partnership will continue to benefit the mutual customers, employer clients and tax payers of the healthcare providers across Connecticut via enhanced and cost-effective care.

The latest extension of the partnership is in sync with Cigna’s efforts to follow a collaborative approach for bringing about improved health outcomes across the state. Both Cigna and Hartford HealthCare have been working together for nearly a decade to upgrade patient’s access to high-quality treatment and ensure care coordination. The latest move comes at an opportune time as new variants of the coronavirus continue to affect people of the United States.

Time and again, Cigna has extended contracts with healthcare systems to ensure uninterrupted healthcare services across several regions of the United States. Recently, Cigna and Tenet Healthcare THC inked a multi-year deal for enhancing their network access. Coming to effect from Jan 1 of next year, the agreement will allow Cigna’s customers to continue availing in-network access to hospitals, physician clinics and outpatient centers of Tenet Healthcare till 2025.

The healthcare provider has also teamed up with several healthcare systems for bolstering its partner networks. Case in point, Cigna collaborated with Oscar Health to extend its health insurance product in a bid to assist small business units across Connecticut and California in the month of April 2021, and in Arizona one month later.

These back-to-back initiatives have strengthened the company’s product portfolio and bolstered presence across the United States. These deals have led to increased membership as well. For 2021, management anticipates total medical customer growth to be at least 350,000, which is significantly higher than the metric declining by 535,000 last year due to the COVID-related disruptions.

Cigna has pursued several buyouts in the past, which has expanded the company’s solutions and capabilities, and enabled it to foray into newer geographies. Strong cash generating abilities make it easier for the company to undertake such growth-related initiatives.

The company’s well-performing segments namely Evernorth, U.S. Medical and International have contributed to 8% the top-line growth in the first half of 2021. For 2021, Cigna estimates adjusted revenues to be at a minimum of $170 billion, higher than the previous guidance of at least $166 billion.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of Cigna have gained 22.2% in a year compared with the industry’s rally of 27.4%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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The company has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the medical space include Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. ACHC and HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Acadia Healthcare and HCA Healthcare have a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 26.14% and 11.65%, on average, respectively.

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Cigna Corporation (CI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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