Cigna Q2 profit shoots up 37 percent

While last quarter was pretty much a gloom and doom situation for health plans, this quarter is shaping up better for the industry. Yesterday, we noted that Aetna's second-quarter profits had grown a respectable 10 percent. Now the story is Cigna, whose Q2 '08 income climbed a more-impressive 37 percent over the same period last year. Its net income was $272 million for the second quarter, up from $198 million one year ago. Revenue, meanwhile, rose 11 percent to $4.86 billion from $4.38 billion.

Cigna's income growth came from several sources, including a 19 percent growth in medical membership over the first half of the year, and premium fees climbed 13 percent. Both were fueled partly by the company's April 1 acquisition of Great-West Healthcare. Part of the reason it's doing well financially is that it has less exposure to the commercial risk market than some of its competitors, as it offers fixed-fee products like disability and life insurance. In its health sector, the company offers not only medical coverage, but also behavioral, dental, disease management and pharmacy-related products and services.

To learn more about Cigna's results:
- read this Cigna press release
- read this Wall Street Journal piece (sub. req.)

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