Cigna acquires low-cost health plan

Cigna HealthCare has signed an agreement to purchase Arizona-based Star HRG, a provider of basic, low-cost health plans for hourly and part-time workers and their families.

Star HRG, a division of Texas-based HealthMarkets Inc., has more than 1,000 corporate clients and about 200,000 members, making it the largest provider of limited, voluntary plans in the country.

David Cordani, president of Cigna, said, “Many of our national and middle-market accounts have expressed the desire to make simple and affordable health benefits coverage available to their employees who otherwise may not be eligible for benefits.” He said the addition of Star HRG’s portfolio “will improve access to products that address an important need and be well-positioned for incremental growth opportunities in this expanding market segment.”

Cigna said the acquisition is expected to close in July.

Cigna spokesperson Joe Mondy said the company is currently accepting proposals from companies, including those in New Hampshire, interested in offering Star HRG plans.

“Employers with a population of part-time or hourly workers can make these plans available to them, and depending on the nature of the plan they offer, can subsidize costs up to 60 percent,” said Mondy.

Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna Healthcare has approximately 160,000 members in New Hampshire. — CINDY KIBBE

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