Globally mobile

September 1, 2011

In a year of stalled growth for many health insurers, CIGNA has seen its international revenue grow 30%

In a year of stalled growth for many health insurers, CIGNA has seen its international revenue grow 30%, on pace to surpass its domestic business in the next 10 years. In fact, the plan includes a specific focus on the global marketplace in its current strategic initiative: "Go deep. Go global. Go individual."

David Cordani, president and CEO of CIGNA since 2009, designed the three-prong strategy. Traditionally strong in administrative-services-only (ASO) contracts in the United States-which comprise 80% of its domestic business-CIGNA also has a long history of global insurance sales from its predecessors, dating as far back as the 1880s.

"As you look at the globalization that's transpiring and the evolution of what's transpiring, the global market is a rapidly growing segment that has a series of health, wellbeing and sense-of-security needs," Cordani says in his office in Hartford, Conn. "It creates a tremendously dynamic marketplace for us as we go forward."

Specifically, CIGNA offers two international product types: expatriate and supplemental plans. Expatriate plans cover the "globally mobile," those members who move from a home country to another country, typically as a result of an employment assignment. Cordani says the expatriate benefit packages are comprehensive, and some include employee assistance programs.

Also in the international business line, individual supplemental products fill coverage gaps for residents of countries with government-based healthcare. Additionally, a small population of individuals in the United Kingdom and Spain who have opted out of their countries' social systems can purchase coverage through CIGNA. More than 6 million individuals are covered through the supplemental plans.

Cordani says the two product segments together represent $3 billion in revenue and are experiencing double-digit, top-line growth. In the first quarter of 2011, the international segment drove 30% top-line growth unaided by acquisitions.

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