Health insurer Cigna's quarterly revenue rises 9%

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Health insurer Cigna Corp reported a 9% rise in quarterly revenue on Thursday, benefiting from its recently revamped health services unit that mainly houses its pharmacy benefits management business.

Last September, the company rebranded its health services unit to Evernorth, comprising the pharmacy benefits management business it acquired through the 2018 buyout of Express Scripts, and its specialty pharmacy business Accredo.

For the fourth quarter, Cigna’s medical care ratio - the amount spent on medical claims versus the income from premiums - worsened to 85.8% from 82.3%, owing to COVID-19 testing and treatment costs.

U.S. health insurers including larger rival UnitedHealth and Anthem have been spending hefty amounts to support their customers with COVID-19 testing and treatment costs.

Cigna said it expects to see a negative impact of about $1.25 per share due to COVID-19 costs in 2021.

The company said it sees full-year consolidated adjusted income from operations of at least $6.95 billion, or $20 per share.

Shareholders’ net income rose to $4.14 billion, or $11.45 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $977 million, or $2.60 per share, a year earlier. The company recorded $3.22 billion in gains from the sale of its disability and accidental death insurance unit in the quarter.

Excluding one-time items, the company posted a profit of $3.51 per share.

Total revenue rose to $41.71 billion from $38.25 billion. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)