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.

© 2021 MMIT

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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