A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the issuer credit rating (ICR) of "bbb" and debt ratings of Cigna Corporation (Cigna) (Philadelphia, PA) (NYSE: CI). Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a” of the key life/health subsidiaries of Cigna, as well as its medical health maintenance organizations (HMO) and dental HMO subsidiaries. Additionally, A.M. Best has assigned an FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICRs of “a-” to the HealthSpring subsidiaries that were acquired by Cigna in January 2012.
A.M. Best also has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and ICRs of “a-” of three of the Cigna supplemental benefit companies, and upgraded the FSR to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and ICR to “a-” from “bbb” of American Retirement Life Insurance Company (American Retirement Life) (Austin, TX). The outlook for all the above ratings is stable. (See link below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
In addition, A.M. Best has withdrawn the FSR of A (Excellent) and ICR of “a” of Cigna Arbor Life Insurance Company (Cigna Arbor) (Bloomfield, CT). Cigna Arbor’s role as reinsurer of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company’s (CGLIC) run off Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit and Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit business will be discontinued following CGLIC’s agreement to reinsure the run-off business to Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska.
The rating affirmations reflect Cigna’s strong financial performance and growing business diversification. Cigna’s health, life and disability insurance entities have reported consistently strong earnings with return on revenues typically exceeding 5%. The acquisitions of HealthSpring and Great American’s supplemental business helped Cigna to further diversify its product portfolio and achieve an established position within the senior health care market, reducing its concentration in health care administrative service only (ASO) type contracts. A.M. Best believes Cigna is well positioned for future earnings growth, as the organization has been implementing various cost control tools in its health care segment, including expanding accountable care organizations with providers. Furthermore, the organization has growing international operations in both its Asian and European domiciled subsidiaries.