Jason Sadler of Cigna discusses his company's approach to healthcare with Paul Robertson.
Surprisingly Jason Sadler’s a Brit. Why the surprise? Well Cigna is a US based global health company with a staggering $21bn revenue and its Health, Life and Accident business, which Sadler heads, is run out of Hong Kong.
Cigna recently bought protection and travel insurer FirstAssist Insurance Services in the UK; the company already sold group and individual PMI in the this country.
The company is little known by advisers, which is fair enough, considering its principle business model here in the UK, as in most markets, is through affinity partners. Cigna works primarily with banks and also has relationships with supermarkets and organisations like Saga.
Sadler pointed out that it does also work through the broking space: “But it’s not a primary focus for us. A lot of what we do is white labelling.”
In essence, Cigna products are available for brokers, just not as a primary focus. Would that change?
“We’re still very confident that we’ve got a lot more that we can do with our existing partners,” said Sadler enigmatically.
As a truly global firm, getting a grip on who does what, and where, can be difficult.
Sadler made a brave stab at unravelling the company’s, frankly byzantine, organisation: “Basically I’d say there are three core business areas; there’s the group health services piece in the US; there is what’s known as the international division which is outside of the US; and then there’s the group life and disability also in the US.”
He went on to explain that the international division, which is basically all and any businesses outside of the US, has four business lines.
First up is Sadler’s department, Health, Life and Accident, which essentially provides supplementary health type products, operating in 14 countries. It is sold through a variety of channels but predominantly through telemarketing, increasingly through the internet and face to face in a number of countries as well.
The second division is ex-patriot benefits, providing healthcare benefits to expats based overseas – corporate IPMI effectively.
There is a small group of healthcare business, one here in the UK and another in Spain. And then a new line which has just been launched this year, individual IPMI.
However, Sadler’s brief is essentially ancillary health services, including occupational health, which is becoming a big fish globally.
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