NEW YORK LIFE and CIGNA in the News

At the start of 2021, insurance giant New York Life completed its 2020 purchase of CIGNA’s group life, accident, and disability business for $6.3. billion, adding nine million customers and creating a new entity: New York Life Group Benefit Solutions. The transaction closed in early January and shortly thereafter, CIGNA disability policyowners began receiving correspondence from New York Life representatives

Frankel & Newfield has worked with many New York Life claims adjusters and attorneys in matters regarding New York Life’s disability policies, so we have experience with how this company maintains control of disability claims. We found it interesting to see the president of New York Life on social media in January, making it clear that the company’s chief interest in the transaction was the group disability insurance market.

If you own a Cigna disability policy, or have group coverage through your employment with CIGNA or LINA (Life Insurance Company of North America), and are concerned about how this change may affect your benefits or your policy dispute, please call our office at 877-583-2524 to speak with an experienced disability attorney.

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New York Life, the largest mutual life insurance company in the country, has sold LINA disability insurance policies through large professional associations for many years, and as such has a deep understanding of disability insurance as a profit center.

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The purchase brings Cigna’s 3,000 employees, about 9 million disability plan policyholders, a 90% client retention rate and a 71% return-to-work rate for employees receiving short term disability insurance benefits, according to a recent article on Think Advisor.

Our experience with New York Life includes battling for claimants whose association disability insurance policies have been denied for a variety of reasons, and we have no doubt that New York Life will translate the same strategies to their new Cigna-acquired claimants.

The acquisition isn’t the end of the partnership. The two giants have also entered into a multi-year collaboration that will combine health coverage with other types of group benefits. People who have their health insurance through Cigna are likely to be targeted prospects for other insurance services.

New York Life insurance company is the largest mutual life insurance in the United States, and New York Life Group Benefit Solutions products and services are provided exclusively by or through Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) or Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY) (“CLICNY”), or by or through affiliates or subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation and reinsured by LINA.

Industry media reports Cigna’s reason for the transaction was to support its shift to growing health benefits and services areas following the acquisition of Express Scripts in 2018. The company wanted a substantial infusion of cash to grow the Medicare Advantage area in the face of steep competition from companies including UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Humana, and CVS Health’s Aetna, who are also targeting this area.

A similar acquisition took place in 2017, when Aetna sold its life and disability business to The Hartford Group for $1.45 billion in cash. Frankel & Newfield represented many claimants who had a disability insurance policy with one company, only to find themselves insured by another company whose first priority is to clean house and maximize profits following the sale.

If you were a Cigna disability insurance policy owner and are concerned about how the purchase by New York Life may impact your benefits, contact the firm at 877-583-2524.

Jason A. Newfield

Written By:

Jason A. Newfield

Disability Insurance Attorney