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Cigna (CI) Extends MA Network With Iora for Better Healthcare

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Cigna Corporation (CI - Free Report) included Iora Health in its Medicare Advantage (“MA”) network, which has been witnessing accelerated growth for quite some time. Shares of Cigna gained 5.3% in the trading on Jan 7.

The company’s value-based care agreement with Iora has paved way for Cigna’s MA customers, who can now access the primary care practices of Iora. Notably, the practices can be availed through the Iora Primary Care brand across the United States. The deal tends to cover the Iora locations, including the greater Denver, Charlotte, Houston, Atlanta and Tucson areas, where Cigna has been extending a MA plan. The locations encompass a total count of Iora’s 27 primary care practices.

Moreover, the latest move is likely to help Cigna in continuing to provide high-quality coordinated care at affordable costs for its MA members. And Iora seems to be the right partner for complementing Cigna’s endeavor as both healthcare providers share the aim of delivering improved health outcomes at lower costs. Also, Iora has a proven track record of offering primary care in the form of clinic or telehealth visits for seniors enrolled in Medicare plans through health specialists.

The above-mentioned deal seems to be opportune for MA members, as seniors remain most vulnerable to numerous health woes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the deal, seniors can now get easy access to improved healthcare services. Also, Cigna has left no stone unturned to expand its telehealth services suite, which has been witnessing a surge in demand triggered by the pandemic.

Among other stocks in the medical space, Teladoc Health Inc. (TDOC - Free Report) , Magellan Health, Inc. and Humana Inc. (HUM - Free Report) have developed telehealth services.

Shares of Cigna have gained 26.8% in the past six months compared with the industry’s rally of 22.3%. Notably, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.



Furthermore, Cigna boasts a robust MA network, which has included more than 25,000 physicians in 2020 across its areas of operations. It extended contracts and teamed up with several healthcare systems for bolstering its partner networks. Also, it should be mentioned that more than 85% of the company’s MA customers are in value-based arrangements.

Cigna has been intensifying the focus on growing its healthcare portfolio by getting rid of non-core businesses. The sale of its group life and disability insurance business to New York Life bears testament to the same.

A plethora of initiatives has been undertaken by the healthcare provider to deepen the focus on its core business, ranging from the introduction of the Evernorth segment for the accelerated offering of innovative solutions to unveiling 2021 plans for expanding presence across the MA market. Steady growth of its Medicare business has made Cigna optimistic. Based on this, it unveiled an array of MA plans with enhanced features for 2021. The plans will not only expand its presence by 22% in the United States but also provide improved health outcomes.

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