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“While many investors have seen a decline in the value of their stock portfolio over the past year, Cigna shareholders became significantly richer today after the company announced that it made far more in profits during the first three months of this year than Wall Street financial analysts had expected,” Wendell Potter writes over at Substack. “Cigna, the giant health insurer that also operates one of the country’s biggest pharmacy benefit managers -– and my former employer -– reported making $1.9 billion in profits during the first quarter of 2022, 12% more than the $1.7 billion it made during the same quarter last year. That translates into $6.01 a share, way higher than Wall Street analysts’ average expectation of $5.18 a share -– and much more than the $4.73 the company reported for the first quarter of 2021. To put that in an even broader perspective, earnings per share 10 years ago, at the end of the first quarter of 2012, came in at just $1.28. Cigna is a massively bigger company today than it was back then, thanks largely to its 2018 acquisition of Express Scripts, the big PBM that Cigna now markets under the name Evernorth.  At the end of the first quarter of 2012, Cigna reported $6.9 billion in total revenues. As a result of that acquisition -– and relentless increases in health plan premiums and out-of-pocket requirements over the past decade -– the company’s revenues have increased more than sixfold, to $44 billion. Most of that, by far, is, shall we say, drug money. In fact, 75% of Cigna’s total revenues came from Evernorth during the first three months of 2022. The company said Evernorth contributed $33.6 billion in revenues, up 10% from the $30.6 billion during the first quarter of 2021.” Wendell Potter, “Big insurer Cigna took in $44 billion in the first 3 months of 2022. 75% came from its drug business,” Substack.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...