Friday, June 23, 2006

Cigna Acquires Star HRG

CIGNA HealthCare promotes the health of its members through health education, and friendly reminders for checkups and preventive care that are targeted toward men, women, and children.

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., June 21, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CIGNA (NYSE: CI) announced today it has reached an agreement to acquire Star HRG, an operating division of HealthMarkets, Inc., and a leading provider of voluntary, limited benefit, low-cost health plans and other employee benefits coverage for hourly and part-time workers and their families.
Through the acquisition, CIGNA HealthCare will gain a significant presence, turnkey expertise, and immediate market-leading capabilities in the voluntary group health marketplace.

In addition to hiring the executive team and employees associated with Star HRG, the acquisition includes: the entire Star HRG product suite and brand names, such as the Starbridge family of products; administrative, distribution and service capabilities; and membership.

The product portfolio includes medical and pharmacy coverage, employee assistance programs, and additional supplemental products such as dental and vision care. "This transaction will immediately enable CIGNA HealthCare to better serve the working uninsured by offering an industry-leading benefits suite of affordable, voluntary health insurance products and services for part-time and hourly workers," said David Cordani, president of CIGNA HealthCare. "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. With the addition of the Star HRG products to CIGNA HealthCare's portfolio and nationwide distribution capabilities, we will improve access to products that address an important need and be well-positioned for incremental growth opportunities in this expanding market segment."

To ensure continuity of service to existing customers, a dedicated business line within CIGNA HealthCare will support Star HRG products. Star HRG products are currently used by more than 1,000 corporate clients and approximately 200,000 members.

These customers range in size from those employing 100 eligible workers to Fortune 500 businesses. The 320 employees associated with Star HRG operate from its Phoenix, AZ headquarters, and provide service to members nationwide. "We are delighted to join one of America's largest providers of employee health and wellness benefits, and to become an integral part of a truly comprehensive one-stop employee benefits solution for national and regional employers and producers," said Star HRG President, Timothy Cook.