Better Together: Coordinated Medical and Pharmacy Benefits Reduce Costs, Improve Health

  • CIGNA and HealthPartners analyses confirm care coordination improves health and lowers costs
  • Coordination among health plan nurse case managers, pharmacists and health coaches lowers medical costs up to $132 per person, per year and up to $251 per year for a family

BLOOMFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Recent studies by CIGNA (NYSE: CI) and HealthPartners demonstrate that individuals improve their health and lower their annual medical costs when their medical and pharmacy benefits are supplied by one company.

The analyses were conducted independently from one another and involved a review of claims for over 11 million individuals in total. The research shows improved health resulting in medical cost savings -- by up to $132 per person per year and up to $251 per family* per year on average when medical and pharmacy coverage is provided by the same health service company.

“The only sustainable way to lower health care costs is to proactively work to keep people healthy, including helping them manage their chronic conditions appropriately,” said CIGNA Chief Pharmacy Officer Jon Maesner, PharmD. “Data exchange alone is not sufficient to improve health and lower overall medical costs. Improving health requires coordination and incentives to change behaviors. Having medical and pharmacy benefits within the same company means we can coordinate both data and services - with very good result.”

CIGNA's analysis also showed that individuals with integrated medical and pharmacy programs were much more likely to complete a health assessment, engage in health improvement programs such as health coaching and chronic condition management, and take their medications appropriately. Previous CIGNA research also indicated that combined medical and pharmacy plans reduced gaps in patient care.

The HealthPartners study of more than 150,000 customers demonstrated that groups with both medical and pharmacy benefits saved an average of 3.8 percent on their total cost of medical care, while groups that carved out their pharmacy benefits to another pharmacy benefit management company had seven percent higher hospitalization rates.

“This is more good evidence of how integration of care can benefit our customers and patients,” said Scott Schnuckle, HealthPartners senior vice president, dental, pharmacy and business development. “By keeping medical and pharmacy benefits within the same company, we can focus on the entire person, instead of just managing a pharmacy or medical benefit. The result is improved health at a lower cost.”

In addition, those who did not have access to condition and care management programs had a 38 percent higher utilization rate than those with both medical and pharmacy benefits with HealthPartners.

Since 2006, CIGNA and HealthPartners have worked in alliance to offer companies with employees residing in Minnesota and other states health plan products using the HealthPartners and CIGNA networks of health care professionals. The CIGNA-HealthPartners alliance offers a coast-to-coast, combined network for Minnesota-based companies that have employees in other states. This same network is offered to national companies headquartered elsewhere who have employees residing in Minnesota.

*The savings are estimated at $228 - $251 annually when dependents or others covered under an employee’s plan are included in the calculations.


CIGNA (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. CIGNA offers products and services in over 27 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 65 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by CIGNA Corporation. To learn more about CIGNA, visit To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit CIGNA’s YouTube channel at and listen to CIGNA's podcast series with healthy tips and information at or by searching "CIGNA" in iTunes.

About HealthPartners

Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners ( family of health care companies serves more than one million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community. HealthPartners is the top-ranked commercial health plan in Minnesota and is also ranked 19th in the nation according to NCQA's Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2010-11 - private.

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Lindsay Shearer, 603-625-5776
[email protected]
Paul Moore, 952-883-5366
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Connecticut

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Pharmaceutical  Professional Services  Insurance  Managed Care