Cigna to purchase long-standing partner MDLive 







Only two months into 2021 and the health insurance arena is buzzing with activity.

The latest in a string of big moves is Cigna’s plans to purchase telehealth company MDLive through its health services portfolio Evernorth. This acquisition news comes on the heels of Oscar filing an IPO and CVS Health announcing plans to re-enter the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2022.

The companies are not disclosing the purchase price, a Cigna spokesperson said in an email.  The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of the year pending customary closing and regulatory approvals. Cigna does not expect the acquisition to change its projected 2021 adjusted earnings per share of at least $20.

The health insurance giant launched Evernorth in September. Evernorth is payer-agnostic and provides a platform for distributing health solutions for health plans, employers and government organizations. Its suite of products includes fertility solution FamilyPath and mental health platform inMynd.

With the addition of MDLive, Evernorth will be able to offer a 24/7 virtual care delivery platform that has an existing client base, provider network and brand recognition among customers.

“Combining MDLive’s platform and strong network for virtual providers with our comprehensive care solutions, we will be better positioned to optimize the care journey to improve affordability and accessibility, and to deliver superior support to health plans as they advance their own care delivery models for the future,” said Tim Wentworth, CEO of Evernorth, in a news release.

Together, Evernorth and MDLive aim to offer an end-to-end patient care experience that includes faster referrals and more convenient access to health services.

For MDLive, the transaction will help accelerate its ability to serve more customers and build new services, said Charles Jones, chairman and CEO of the telehealth provider, in a news release.

“Becoming part of the Evernorth portfolio is an opportunity for MDLive to join an organization that complements our work, and has been a long-time partner and investor in our business,” said Jones.

Cigna and MDLive’s relationship goes back to at least 2013 when the payer added the telehealth provider to its benefits portfolio. That relationship has only grown over the years. In 2018, MDLive secured a $50 million growth investment led by Cigna, Health Care Service Corporation and Health Velocity Capital.

Then, last year, Cigna began giving members access to online behavioral health services through MDLive. Also in 2020, the payer began offering virtual care for preventive checkups through MDLive’s primary care platform.

Photo: maxsattana, Getty Images


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