Diversified Insurers Remain Bullish on Pharmacy Holdings

Although the fourth quarter of 2020 brought financial challenges for some health insurers due to surging coronavirus infections, the pharmacy-focused divisions of those publicly traded firms seemed to provide a universal bright spot.

Cigna Corp., for example, saw its stock prices slide after its fourth-quarter earnings came in below Wall Street’s expectations — a result the company attributed in part to COVID-19-related costs outpacing the financial benefits of deferred care. But Cigna also reported that for its health services segment Evernorth — which houses its PBM — full-year 2020 adjusted revenues increased 20% compared with 2019, reaching $30.5 billion. Those results were driven by “ongoing strong retention, the completion of insourcing Cigna volumes and organic growth, including our partnership with Prime Therapeutics,” Cigna CEO David Cordani said during the company’s Feb. 4 earnings conference call.

© 2024 MMIT
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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