Cigna launched Evernorth to meet a need in the market for a streamlined patient experience through the bundling of assets and optimizing disease and benefit management. While it might seem as a simple bundling of services to large employers, this is actually an innovative approach to the problem of fragmentation in the benefits management space. So much so, that potential customers of Evernorth are other health insurance companies.
Evernorth’s first suite of products includes
Tim Wentworth, newly appointed CEO of Evernorth and formerly President of Cigna Health Services described the problem being solved for large employers and government entities as a ‘fragmented’ system of benefits and population health management.
In an interview with yahoo finance, he uses a precedent example of a unified solution in the partnership between Livongo, the diabetes management platform and Express Scripts, the PBM recently acquired by Cigna, as one where information from the Livongo platform is integrated into Express Scripts and shared with partner pharmacies for improved patient care.
One example of bundling services into a more streamlined benefit is Evernorth FamilyPath which is a partnership between:
1. Evicore Healthcare (Medical Benefits Management)
2. Accredo (specialty pharmacy)
3. Express Scripts (pharmacy benefit management), and
4. Freedom Fertility pharmacy.
The added premium for the benefit is estimated between $2-$5 per member per month or an additional $24-$60 per member per year.
Does this new entity compete with Cigna, the parent insurance company?
The short answer is no. The reason is because the healthcare benefits and population health management space today is seriously fragmented with multiple players but only one end-user--the patient. This means very little competition or innovation up until this point.
In the past, there was no incentive/demand to create a streamlined patient experience when it comes to disease & benefits management. Employers looked for the lowest cost health insurance. However, with the advent of a discerning millennial and Gen Z workforce, employers were forced to find creative ways to attract them without necessarily having to increase wages. Hence why, a fertility benefit is one of the top product offerings for large employers and one which saw a 130% increase in adoption between 2018 and 2019. Now with this surging demand for a better patient experience, Evernorth was created with few competitors in the marketplace. That is why Evernorth's largest client is Cigna and why they will count the majority of smaller health insurance companies (namely the BlueCross BlueShield licensees) as potential customers!
There are a host of other solutions that Evernorth can create. If they use feedback from their clients, they’ll be slow to innovate because employers themselves have been slow to innovate. If they use feedback from employees (the end user) then we’ll see things like fitness programs, child care, caregiver support, among others finding their way into a robust benefits program of the future. A benefit program is not meant to only attract great talent, but also to keep the employees and their families healthy, and productive.