Cost-Control Efforts Pay Off for Cigna in Second Quarter

Cigna Corp.’s ability to rein in medical costs during the second quarter of 2022 impressed equities analysts and led the health insurer on Aug. 4 to surpass the Wall Street consensus earnings per share (EPS) estimate while raising its full-year EPS outlook.

Cigna posted “the largest MLR beat among MCOs this quarter,” with its medical loss ratio of 80.7% coming in 220 basis points below the consensus estimate, Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel pointed out in a note to investors. That comes after a 110 basis-point beat in the first quarter of 2022, he added.

And SVB Securities analyst Whit Mayo observed that “medical costs were well-controlled during the quarter,” with Cigna’s MLR “driving the bulk of the [company’s] outperformance.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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