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CIGNA Corporation 10-K 2010
Form 10-K
Table of Contents

 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
 
(Mark One)
     
þ   ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009
OR
     
o   TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission file number 1-8323
CIGNA Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
     
Delaware   06-1059331
(State or other jurisdiction of   (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)   Identification No.)
     
Two Liberty Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   19192
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (215) 761-1000
 
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act:
     
    Name of each exchange on
Title of each class   which registered
     
Common Stock, Par Value $0.25   New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
             
Large accelerated filer þ   Accelerated filer o   Non-accelerated filer o   Smaller Reporting Company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No þ
The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2009 was approximately $6.6 billion.
As of January 30, 2010, 274,968,520 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock were outstanding.
Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates by reference information from the registrant’s proxy statement to be dated on or about March 19, 2010.
 
 

 


 

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 Exhibit 3.2
 Exhibit 4.2
 Exhibit 4.3
 Exhibit 10.4
 Exhibit 10.7
 Exhibit 10.10
 Exhibit 10.15(a)
 Exhibit 10.15(b)
 Exhibit 10.17
 Exhibit 10.18
 Exhibit 10.24
 Exhibit 12
 Exhibit 21
 Exhibit 23
 Exhibit 31.1
 Exhibit 31.2
 Exhibit 32.1
 Exhibit 32.2
 EX-101 INSTANCE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 SCHEMA DOCUMENT
 EX-101 CALCULATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 LABELS LINKBASE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 PRESENTATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
 EX-101 DEFINITION LINKBASE DOCUMENT

 

 


Table of Contents

PART I
Item 1.   BUSINESS
A. Description of Business
CIGNA Corporation and its subsidiaries constitute one of the largest investor-owned health service organizations in the United States. Its subsidiaries are major providers of health care and related benefits, the majority of which are offered through the workplace, including: health care products and services; group disability, life and accident insurance; and workers’ compensation case management and related services. In addition, the Company has an international operation that offers life, accident and supplemental health insurance products as well as international health care products and services to businesses and individuals in selected markets. The Company also has certain inactive businesses, including a run-off reinsurance operation. CIGNA Corporation had consolidated shareholders’ equity of $5.4 billion and assets of $43.0 billion as of December 31, 2009, and revenues of $18.4 billion for the year then ended. CIGNA’s major insurance subsidiary, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (“CGLIC”), traces its origins to 1865. CIGNA Corporation was incorporated in the State of Delaware in 1981.
As used in this document, “CIGNA” and the “Company” may refer to CIGNA Corporation itself, one or more of its subsidiaries, or CIGNA Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries. CIGNA Corporation is a holding company and is not an insurance company. Its subsidiaries conduct various businesses, which are described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 (“Form 10-K”).
CIGNA’s revenues are derived principally from premiums, fees, mail order pharmacy, other revenues and investment income. The financial results of CIGNA’s businesses are reported in the following segments:
  Health Care;
  Disability and Life;
  International;
  Run-off Reinsurance; and
  Other Operations, including Corporate-owned Life Insurance.
Available Information
CIGNA’s annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other filings, and any amendments to these filings, are made available free of charge on its website (http://www.cigna.com, under the “Investors—SEC Filings” captions) as soon as reasonably practicable after the Company electronically files these materials with, or furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Company uses its website as a channel of distribution for material company information. Important information, including news releases, analyst presentations and financial information regarding CIGNA is routinely posted on and accessible at www.cigna.com. See “Code of Ethics and Other Corporate Governance Disclosures” in Part III, Item 10 beginning on page 171 of this Form 10-K for additional available information.
B. Financial Information about Business Segments
The financial information included herein is in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”), unless otherwise indicated. Certain reclassifications have been made to prior years’ financial information to conform to the 2009 presentation. Industry rankings and percentages set forth herein are for the year ended December 31, 2009, unless otherwise indicated. Unless otherwise noted, statements set forth in this document concerning CIGNA’s rank or position in an industry or particular line of business have been developed internally, based on publicly available information.
Financial data for each of CIGNA’s business segments is set forth in Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 160 of this Form 10-K.

 

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C. Strategy
As a global health service organization, CIGNA’s mission remains focused on helping the people it serves improve their health, well-being and sense of security. CIGNA’s long-term growth strategy is based on: (1) growth in targeted geographies, product lines, buying segments and distribution channels; (2) improving its strategic and financial flexibility; and (3) pursuing additional opportunities in high-growth markets with particular focus on individuals.
CIGNA expects to focus on the following areas it believes represent the markets or areas with the most potential for profitable growth:
  In the Health Care segment, the Company is concentrating on: (1) further enhancing its geographic focus in the middle market in order to create geographic density; (2) growing the “Select” market, which generally includes employers with more than 50 but fewer than 250 employees, by leveraging the Company’s customer knowledge, differentiated service model, product portfolio and distribution model; and (3) engaging those national account employers who share and will benefit from the Company’s value proposition of using health advocacy and employee engagement to increase productivity, performance and the health outcomes of their employees.
  In the Disability and Life segment, CIGNA’s strategy is to grow its Disability business by fully leveraging the key components of its industry-leading disability management model to reduce medical costs for its clients and return their employees to work sooner through: (1) early claim notification and outreach, (2) a full suite of clinical and return-to-work resources, and (3) specialized case management services.
  In the International segment, the Company is targeting growth through: (1) product and channel expansion in its life, accident and health business in key Asian geographies, (2) the introduction of new expatriate benefits products, and (3) further geographic expansion.
The Company plans to improve its strategic and financial flexibility by driving further reductions in its Health Care operating expenses, improving its medical cost competitiveness in targeted markets and effectively managing balance sheet exposures.
Also, in connection with CIGNA’s long-term business strategy, the Company remains committed to health advocacy as a means of creating sustainable solutions for employers, improving the health of the individuals that the Company serves, and lowering the costs of health care for all constituencies.
Details on the Company’s operational strategies are discussed further in the Health Care segment discussion of Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) section on page 62 of this Form 10-K.

 

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D. Health Care
CIGNA’s Health Care segment (“CIGNA HealthCare”) offers insured and self-funded medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and prescription drug benefit plans, health advocacy programs and other products and services that may be integrated to provide individuals with comprehensive health care benefit programs. CIGNA HealthCare also provides disability and life insurance products that were historically sold in connection with certain experience-rated medical products. These products and services are provided and administered by subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation. CIGNA HealthCare companies offer these products and services in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
CIGNA HealthCare is focused on helping to improve the health, well-being and sense of security of the individuals it serves. CIGNA HealthCare believes the most sustainable approach to enhancing quality and managing health care costs is to fully engage individuals in the decisions that affect their health and the health care services they receive. To assist individuals in making informed choices about health care for themselves and their families, CIGNA HealthCare makes available to its members actionable information about health and advocacy programs as well as about the cost and quality of health care services and supplies provided to them.
Underlying CIGNA HealthCare’s operations is a foundation of clinical expertise and an ability to provide quality service. CIGNA HealthCare’s strengths include its ability to: (1) integrate medical and specialty product offerings to achieve a more holistic and integrated approach to individuals’ health that promotes consistent care management; and (2) provide predictive modeling and other analytical tools (for example, through the Company’s exclusive access to analytical tools and algorithms developed by the University of Michigan), to assist in providing targeted outreach and health advocacy by CIGNA’s clinical professionals to CIGNA HealthCare members.
Principal Products and Services and Funding Arrangements
With the exception of Health Maintenance Organization (“HMO”) as well as Medicare Part D and Private Fee for Service products, each of CIGNA HealthCare’s products (as described below) is offered with multiple funding options (also described below). CIGNA may sell multiple products under the same funding arrangement to the same employer. Accordingly, the revenue table included in the Health Care section of the MD&A beginning on page 62 of this Form 10-K reflects both the product type and funding arrangement.

 

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Medical
CIGNA HealthCare provides a wide array of products and services to meet the needs of employers, other sponsors of health benefit plans and their plan participants (i.e., employees/members and their eligible dependents), and individuals, including:
  Network and Open Access Plus Plans. CIGNA HealthCare offers a product line of indemnity managed care benefit plans. Indemnity benefit plans in the managed care product line generally use meaningful coinsurance differences for “in-network” versus “out-of-network” care, give members the option of selecting a primary care physician, and use a national provider network, which is somewhat smaller than the national network used with the preferred provider (“PPO”) plan product line. The Network, Network Open Access, and Open Access Plus In-Network products cover only those services provided by CIGNA HealthCare participating (“in-network”) providers and emergency services provided by non-participating (“out-of-network”) providers. The Network point of service (“POS”), Network POS Open Access and Open Access Plus plans (“OAP”) cover health care services provided by participating, and non-participating health care providers, but the members’ coinsurance obligation is greater for out-of-network care.
  Preferred Provider Plans. CIGNA HealthCare also offers a PPO product line that features a broader national network with generally less favorable provider discounts than the managed care products described above, no option to select a primary care physician, and in-network and out-of-network coverage with greater member coinsurance liability for out-of-network services.
  Health Maintenance Organizations. HMOs are required by law in most states to provide coverage for all basic health services. They use various tools to facilitate the appropriate use of health care services through employed and/or contracted health care providers. HMOs control unit costs by negotiating rates of reimbursement with providers and by requiring that certain treatments be authorized for coverage in advance. CIGNA HealthCare offers HMO plans that require members to obtain all non-emergency services from participating providers as well as POS HMO plans that also provide a lesser level of insurance coverage for out-of-network care from non-participating providers. The out-of-network coverage is generally provided through separate insurance coverage that is sold with the HMO benefits.
  Voluntary Plans . CIGNA HealthCare’s voluntary medical products are offered to employers with 51 or more eligible employees and are designed to meet the insurance needs of uninsured hourly and part-time employees by offering more limited, (i.e., leaner benefits) and more affordable coverage than traditional medical plans.
  CIGNA Choice Fund®, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (“HRAs”), Health Savings Accounts (“HSAs”) and Flexible Spending Accounts (“FSAs”). In connection with many of the products described above, CIGNA HealthCare offers the CIGNA Choice Fund suite of consumer-directed products, including HRA, HSA and FSA options. An HRA allows plan sponsors to choose from a variety of benefit plan designs and for employees to fund un-reimbursed health care expenses with reimbursement account funds that can be rolled over from year to year. HSA plans allow plan sponsors to choose from a variety of benefit plan designs and funding options and combine a high deductible payment feature for a health plan with a tax-preferred savings account offering mutual fund investment options. Funds in an HSA can be used to pay the deductible and other eligible tax-deductible medical expenses and can be rolled over from year to year. In connection with its consumer-directed products, CIGNA HealthCare offers Custom Benefit BuilderSM, a tool that allows members to customize plan options including co-payments and deductible levels, to create a personalized benefit design that meets their individual needs. The HRA and HSA products for employers with generally more than 50 but fewer than 250 employees are now available in 49 states. An FSA pays for certain health care-related expenses, that are either not covered or only partially covered by health care plans, with pretax contributions by employees. Unused FSA account funds cannot be rolled over from year to year; they are forfeited by the employee.
  Stop-Loss Coverage. CIGNA HealthCare offers stop-loss insurance coverage for self-insured plans. This stop-loss coverage reimburses the plan for claims in excess of a predetermined amount, either for individuals (“specific”) or the entire group (“aggregate”), or both. CIGNA HealthCare also offers stop-loss features in its experience-rated policies (discussed below).
  Shared Administration Services. CIGNA HealthCare provides Taft-Hartley trusts and other self-insured groups access to its national provider network and provides claim re-pricing and other services (e.g., utilization management).

 

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Specialty
Health Advocacy. CIGNA HealthCare offers medical management, disease management, and other health advocacy services to employers and other plan sponsors. Services are not only offered to members covered under CIGNA HealthCare administered plans but also to those individuals who have elected coverage under a plan offered through their employer by competing insurers/third party administrators. CIGNA offers a seamless integration of services to address the clinical and administrative challenges that are inherent in coordinating multiple vendors. Through its health advocacy programs, CIGNA HealthCare works to help: (1) healthy people stay healthy; (2) people change behaviors that are putting their health at risk; (3) people with existing health care issues access quality care and practice healthy self-care; and (4) people with a disabling illness or injury return to productive work quickly and safely.
CIGNA HealthCare offers a wide array of health advocacy programs and services to help individuals improve the health of the mind and body, including:
  early intervention by CIGNA’s network of approximately 2,350 clinical professionals;
  CIGNA’s online health assessment, powered by analytics from the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, which helps members identify potential health risks and learn what they can do to live a healthier life;
  the CIGNA Well Aware for Better Health® program, which helps patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, depression and weight complications better manage their conditions;
  CIGNA Health Advisor®, one of our fastest-growing offerings, which provides members with access to a personal health coach to help them reach their health and wellness goals;
  CIGNA’s Well Informed program, which uses clinical rules-based software to identify potential gaps and omissions in members’ health care through analysis of the Company’s integrated medical, behavioral, pharmacy and lab data allowing CIGNA HealthCare to communicate the gaps to the member and the member’s doctor; and
  CIGNA’s online coaching capabilities.
Behavioral Health. CIGNA arranges for the provision of behavioral health care services to individuals through its network of participating behavioral health care providers and offers behavioral health care management services, employee assistance programs, and work/life programs to employer and other groups sponsoring health benefit plans, HMOs, governmental entities and disability insurers. CIGNA Behavioral Health focuses on integrating its programs and services to facilitate customized, holistic care.
As of December 31, 2009, CIGNA’s behavioral national network had approximately 76,000 access points to independent psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers and approximately 6,100 facilities and clinics that are reimbursed on a contracted fee-for-service basis.
Dental. CIGNA Dental Health offers a variety of dental care products including dental health maintenance organization plans, dental preferred provider organization (“DPPO”) plans, dental exclusive provider organization plans, traditional dental indemnity plans and a dental discount program. Employers and other groups can purchase CIGNA Dental Health products as stand-alone products or integrated with CIGNA HealthCare’s medical products. As of December 31, 2009, CIGNA Dental Health members totaled approximately 9.9 million, representing employees at more than one-third of all Fortune 100 companies. Managed dental care products are offered in 36 states and the District of Columbia through a network of independent providers that have contracted with CIGNA Dental Health to provide dental services to members.
CIGNA Dental Health members access care from one of the largest dental HMO and dental PPO networks in the U.S., with approximately 160,000 DPPO-contracted access points (approximately 75,500 unique providers) and approximately 45,400 dental HMO-contracted access points (approximately 14,000 unique providers).
CIGNA Dental Health stresses preventive dentistry; it believes that promoting preventive care contributes to a healthier workforce, an improved quality of life, increased productivity and fewer treatment claims and associated costs over time. CIGNA Dental Health offers members a dental treatment cost estimator to educate individuals on oral health and aid them in their dental health care decision-making.

 

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Pharmacy. CIGNA Pharmacy offers prescription drug plans to its insured and self-funded customers both in conjunction with its medical products and on a stand-alone basis. With a nationwide network of approximately 60,300 contracted pharmacies, CIGNA Pharmacy is a comprehensive pharmacy benefits manager offering clinical integration programs, specialty pharmacy solutions, and fast, efficient home delivery pharmacy capabilities that improve outcomes and reduce costs for a Return On Health®.
Programs that reflect this integration of medical, behavioral and pharmacy offerings include:
  Well Informed. CIGNA’s Well Informed program focuses on the chronic conditions most likely to benefit from disciplined prescription therapy, such as asthma, diabetes, back pain and high cholesterol.
  Step Therapy is a program that encourages individuals who take prescription drugs to treat an ongoing medical condition to use generic and/or preferred brand drugs before progressing to higher cost brand-named drugs within the relevant therapeutic drug class. This is accomplished through claim management protocols, which may include communications with the individual and the individual’s physician.
  Specialty Pharmacy Solutions. Because it offers both medical and pharmacy benefit management products and services, CIGNA HealthCare is uniquely positioned to manage holistic care for individuals with chronic conditions. This approach allows individuals to access medication in the most appropriate setting based on their unique circumstances. This results in less confusion and disruption in care, which in turn promotes medication adherence and healthier outcomes.
  CIGNA Tel-Drug® Home Delivery Pharmacy. CIGNA HealthCare also offers cost-effective mail order, telephone and on-line pharmaceutical fulfillment services through its home delivery operation. CIGNA Tel-Drug Home Delivery Pharmacy provides an individual-focused, efficient home delivery pharmacy with high standards of quality, accuracy and individual care relating to maintenance and specialty medications. Orders may be submitted through the mail, via phone or through the internet at myCIGNA.com.
  CIGNA HealthCare also offers a suite of online tools to individuals, including our award-winning Prescription Drug Price Quote Tool, which empowers individuals with actionable information that helps them maximize their benefits and lower their out-of-pocket costs.
Private Fee For Service. CIGNA’s Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service plan, CIGNA Medicare Access Plan, has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be a replacement for Original Medicare. The CIGNA Medicare Access Plan offers the same benefits as Original Medicare Parts A & B, as well as supplemental benefits, including annual physicals, emergency worldwide coverage and health and wellness programs.
Medicare Part D. CIGNA’s Medicare Part D prescription drug program, CIGNA Medicare Rx®, provides a number of plan options as well as service and information support to Medicare and Medicaid eligible members. CIGNA Medicare Rx is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Retail Pharmacies. CIGNA HealthCare operates 20 retail pharmacies, including on-site retail pharmacies for members to serve the needs of CIGNA HealthCare members.
CIGNA Onsite Health was formed in 2007. The Company operates onsite health centers at five CIGNA employee locations and expects to open several onsite health clinics at other employer locations during 2010. In addition, the Company has multiple health advocates at employer sites across the country. Onsite operations are projected to expand throughout 2010 and beyond.
Cost Containment Service. CIGNA administers cost containment programs with respect to health care services/supplies that are covered under benefit plans. These programs, which may involve contracted vendors, are intended to control health costs through the reduction of out-of-network utilization, the auditing of provider bills and recovery of overpayments from other insurance carriers or providers. CIGNA earns fees for providing or arranging these services.

 

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Vision. CIGNA Vision offers flexible, cost-effective PPO coverage that includes a range of both in and out-of-network benefits for routine vision services. CIGNA’s national vision care network, which consists of over 48,000 providers in approximately 21,800 locations, includes private practice ophthalmologist and optometrist offices, as well as retail eye care centers. Routine vision products are offered in conjunction with CIGNA HealthCare’s medical and dental product offerings.
Funding Arrangements
The segment’s health care products and services are offered through the following funding arrangements:
  Guaranteed Cost;
  Experience-rated (“Shared ReturnsSM”, including minimum premium funding arrangements); and
  Administrative Services Only.
Guaranteed Cost. Under guaranteed cost funding arrangements, policyholders pay a fixed premium and CIGNA HealthCare bears the risk for claims and costs. The HMO product is offered only on a guaranteed cost basis.
Experience-rated (“Shared ReturnsSM”, including minimum premium). Under insurance policies using an experience-rated funding arrangement, a premium that typically includes a margin to partially protect against adverse claim fluctuations is determined at the beginning of the policy period. CIGNA HealthCare generally bears the risk if claims and expenses exceed this premium. If premiums exceed claims and expenses, any surplus amount is generally first used to offset prior deficits and otherwise generally returned to the policyholder. For additional discussion, see “Pricing, Reserves and Reinsurance” later within this section of the Form 10-K.
Under insurance policies using a minimum premium funding arrangement, instead of paying a fixed monthly premium, the group policyholder establishes and funds a bank account and authorizes the insurer to draw upon funds in the account to pay claims and other authorized expenses. The policyholder pays a significantly reduced monthly “residual” premium while the policy is in effect and a supplemental premium (to cover reserves for run-out claims and administrative expenses) upon termination. Minimum premium funding arrangements combine insurance protection with an element of self-funding. The policyholder is responsible for funding all claims up to a predetermined aggregate, maximum monthly amount, and CIGNA HealthCare bears the risk for claim costs incurred in excess of that amount. As with other experience-rated insurance products, CIGNA HealthCare may recover deficits from margins in future years if the policy is renewed.
Administrative Services Only. CIGNA HealthCare contracts with employers, unions and other groups sponsoring self-insured plans on an administrative services only (“ASO”) basis to administer claims and perform other plan related services. CIGNA HealthCare collects administrative service fees in exchange for providing these self-insured plans with access to CIGNA HealthCare’s applicable participating provider network and for providing other services and programs including: claim administration; quality management; utilization management; cost containment; health advocacy; 24-hour help line; 24/7 call center; case management; disease management; pharmacy benefit management; behavioral health care management services (through its provider networks); or any combination of these services. The self-insured plan sponsor is responsible for self-funding all claims, but may purchase stop-loss insurance from CIGNA HealthCare or other insurers for claims in excess of a predetermined amount, for either individuals (“specific”), the entire group (“aggregate”), or both.
In 2008, CIGNA purchased Great-West Healthcare, the healthcare division of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (“Great-West Healthcare”). See Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 112 of this Form 10-K for details about this purchase.
Financial information, including premiums and fees, is presented in the Health Care section of the MD&A beginning on page 62 and in Note 22 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 160 of this Form 10-K.

 

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Service and Quality
CIGNA HealthCare operates 11 service centers that together processed approximately 122 million medical claims in 2009. Satisfying customers and members is a primary business objective and critical to the Company’s success. To further this objective, in 2009, the Company made its call centers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As of December 31, 2009, CIGNA operates six member service centers that members can call toll-free about their healthcare benefits, wellness programs and claims. CIGNA HealthCare customer service representatives are empowered to immediately resolve a wide range of issues to help members obtain the most from their benefit plans. In addition, a customer service representative can resolve a member’s issue. If an issue cannot be resolved informally, CIGNA HealthCare has a formal appeals process that can be initiated by telephone or in writing and involves two levels of internal review. For those matters not resolved by internal reviews, CIGNA HealthCare members are offered the option of a voluntary external review of claims. The CIGNA HealthCare formal appeals process addresses member inquiries and appeals concerning initial coverage determinations based on medical necessity and other benefits/coverage determinations. CIGNA HealthCare’s formal appeals process meets National Committee for Quality Assurance (“NCQA”), Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (“URAC”) and/or applicable state regulatory requirements.
CIGNA HealthCare’s commitment to promoting quality care and service to its members is reflected in a variety of activities including: credentialing medical providers and facilities that participate in CIGNA HealthCare’s managed care and PPO networks; developing the CIGNA CareSM specialist physician designation described below; and participating in initiatives that provide information to members to enable educated health care decision-making.
Participating Provider Network. CIGNA HealthCare has an extensive national network of participating health care providers which, as of December 31, 2009, consisted of approximately 5,400 hospitals and approximately 612,000 providers as well as other facilities, pharmacies and vendors of health care services and supplies (these hospital and provider counts exclude the impact of the Great-West Healthcare acquisition). As part of the purchase of Great-West Healthcare, CIGNA acquired the participating provider network of Great-West Healthcare. In many cases, the providers in the Great-West Healthcare network were already in the CIGNA HealthCare participating provider network, however, the acquisition has expanded and strengthened CIGNA HealthCare’s network in some regions of the country. CIGNA HealthCare continues to consolidate the network it acquired from Great-West Healthcare with its existing participating provider network.
In most instances, CIGNA HealthCare contracts directly with the participating provider to provide covered services to members at agreed-upon rates of reimbursement. In some instances, however, CIGNA HealthCare companies contract with third parties for access to their provider networks. In addition, CIGNA HealthCare has entered into strategic alliances with several regional managed care organizations (Tufts Health Plan, HealthPartners, Inc., Health Alliance Plan, and MVP Health Plan) to gain access to their provider networks and discounts.
CIGNA CareSM. CIGNA Care is a benefit design option available for CIGNA HealthCare administered plans in 57 service areas across the country. CIGNA Care is a subset of participating physicians in certain specialties who are designated as CIGNA Care physicians based on specific clinical quality and cost-efficiency selection criteria. Members pay reduced co-payments or co-insurance when they receive care from a specialist designated as a CIGNA Care provider. CIGNA participating specialists are evaluated annually for the CIGNA Care designation.
Provider Credentialing. CIGNA HealthCare credentials physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in its participating provider networks using quality criteria which meet or exceed the standards of external accreditation or state regulatory agencies, or both. Typically, most providers are re-credentialed every three years.
Health Plan Credentialing. CIGNA continues to demonstrate its commitment to quality and has expanded its scope of external validation of its quality programs through nationally recognized accreditation organizations. Each of CIGNA’s 23 HMO and POS plans that have undergone an accreditation review has earned Excellent or Commendable status from the NCQA, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. CIGNA’s PPO and Open Access Plus plans in all 50 states have full accreditation status from NCQA. In addition to achieving outstanding accreditation outcomes for its HMO, POS, PPO and OAP products, CIGNA’s provider transparency, wellness, utilization management, case management and demand management programs have been awarded the highest outcomes possible. From NCQA, CIGNA earned Physician & Hospital Quality Certification and Wellness and Health Promotion Accreditation. From URAC, an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation, CIGNA has full accreditation for Health Utilization Management, Case Management and Health Call Centers.

 

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HEDIS® Measures. In addition, CIGNA HealthCare participates in NCQA’s Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (“HEDIS®”) Quality Compass Report. HEDIS® Effectiveness of Care measures are a standard set of metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of managed care clinical programs. CIGNA HealthCare’s national results compare favorably to industry averages.
Technology. CIGNA HealthCare understands the critical importance of information technology to the level of service the Company is able to provide to its members and to the continued growth of its health care business. The health care marketplace is evolving and the level of service that is acceptable to consumers today may not be acceptable tomorrow. Therefore, CIGNA HealthCare continues to strategically invest in its information technology infrastructure and capabilities including technology essential to fundamental claim administration and customer service, as well as tools and Internet-enabled technology that support CIGNA HealthCare’s focus on engaging members in health care decisions.
For example, CIGNA HealthCare has developed a range of member decision support tools including:
  myCIGNA.com, CIGNA’s consumer Internet portal. The portal is personalized with each member’s CIGNA medical, dental and pharmacy plan information;
  myCignaPlans.com, a website that allows prospective members to compare plan coverage and pricing options, before enrolling, based on a variety of factors. The application gives members information on the total health care cost to them and their employer;
  Health Risk Assessment, an online interactive tool through which members can identify potential health risks and monitor their health status;
  a number of interactive online cost and quality information tools that compare hospital quality and efficiency information, prescription drug choices and average price estimates and member-specific average out-of-pocket cost estimates for certain medical procedures; and
  a special website designed for seniors that offers customized features as well as access to both the myCIGNA.com and cigna.com websites.
Pricing, Reserves and Reinsurance
Premiums and fees charged for HMO and most health insurance products and life insurance products are generally set in advance of the policy period and are typically guaranteed for one year (unless specified events occur, such as changes in benefits, significant changes in enrollment or laws affecting the coverage or costs). Premium rates for fully insured products are established either on a guaranteed cost basis or on a retrospectively experience-rated basis.
Charges to customers established on a guaranteed cost basis at the beginning of the policy period cannot be adjusted to reflect actual claim experience during the policy period. A guaranteed cost pricing methodology reflects assumptions about future claims, health care inflation (unit cost, location of delivery of care and utilization), effective medical cost management, expenses, credit risk, enrollment mix, investment returns, and profit margins. Claim and expense assumptions may be based in whole or in part on prior experience of the account or on a pool of accounts, depending on the group size and the statistical credibility of the experience. Generally, guaranteed cost groups are smaller and less statistically credible than retrospectively experience-rated groups. In addition, pricing for health care products that use networks of contracted providers reflects assumptions about the future claims impact on the reimbursement rates in the provider contracts. Premium rates may vary among accounts to reflect the anticipated contract mix, family size, industry, renewal date, and other cost-predictive factors. In some states, premium rates must be approved by the state insurance departments, and state laws may restrict or limit the use of rating methods.

 

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Premiums established for retrospectively experience-rated business may be adjusted for the actual claim and, in some cases, administrative cost experience of the account through an experience settlement process subsequent to the policy period. To the extent that the cost experience is favorable in relation to the prospectively determined premium rates, a portion of the initial premiums may be credited to the policyholder as an experience refund. If claim experience is adverse in relation to the initial premiums, CIGNA HealthCare may recover the resulting experience deficit, according to contractual provisions, through future premiums and experience settlements, provided the policy remains in force.
CIGNA HealthCare contracts on an ASO basis with customers who fund their own claims. CIGNA HealthCare charges these customers administrative fees based on the expected cost of administering their self-funded programs. In some cases, CIGNA HealthCare provides performance guarantees associated with meeting certain service related and other performance standards. If these standards are not met, CIGNA HealthCare may be financially at risk up to a stated percentage of the contracted fee or a stated dollar amount. CIGNA HealthCare establishes liabilities for estimated payouts associated with these guarantees. See Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 163 of this Form 10-K for details about these guarantees.
In addition to paying current benefits and expenses under HMO and health insurance policies, CIGNA HealthCare establishes reserves for amounts estimated to fund reported claims not yet paid, as well as claims incurred, but not yet reported. Also, liabilities are established for estimated experience refunds based on the results of retrospectively experience-rated policies and applicable contract terms.
As of December 31, 2009, approximately $1.0 billion, or 59% of the reserves of CIGNA HealthCare’s operations comprised liabilities that are likely to be paid within one year, primarily for medical and dental claims, as well as certain group disability and life insurance claims. The reserve amount expected to be paid within one year includes $206 million recoverable from certain ASO customers and from minimum premium policyholders. The remaining reserves relate primarily to contracts that are short term in nature, but have long term payouts and include liabilities for group long-term disability insurance benefits and group life insurance benefits for disabled and retired individuals, benefits paid in the form of both life and non-life contingent annuities to survivors and contractholder deposit funds.
CIGNA HealthCare credits interest on experience refund balances to retrospectively experience-rated policyholders through rates that are set by CIGNA HealthCare taking investment performance and market rates into consideration. Interest-crediting rates are set at CIGNA HealthCare’s discretion. Higher rates are credited to funds with longer expected payout terms reflecting the fact that higher yields are generally available on investments with longer maturities. For 2009, the rates of interest credited ranged from 2.25% to 4.0%, with a weighted average rate of approximately 2.7%.
The profitability of CIGNA HealthCare’s fully insured health care products depends on the adequacy of premiums charged relative to claims and expenses. For medical and dental products, profitability reflects the accuracy of cost projections for health care (unit costs and utilization), the adequacy of fees charged for administration and risk assumption and effective medical cost and utilization management.
CIGNA HealthCare reduces its exposure to large catastrophic losses under group life, disability and accidental death contracts by purchasing reinsurance from unaffiliated reinsurers.

 

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Markets and Distribution
CIGNA HealthCare offers products in the following markets:
  national accounts, which are multi-site employers generally with more than 5,000 employees;
  middle market, which is generally defined as multi-site employers with more than 250 but fewer than 5,000 employees, and single-site employers with more than 250 employees;
  “Select,” which generally includes employers with more than 50 but fewer than 250 employees;
  small business, which generally includes employers with 2-50 employees;
  individuals;
  government, which includes employees in federal, state and local governments, primary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities;
  Taft-Hartley plans, which includes members covered by union trust funds;
  seniors, which focuses on the health care needs of individuals 50 years and older;
  voluntary, which focuses on employers with hourly and part-time uninsured employees; and
  emerging markets, which includes non-CIGNA HealthCare payors to which leased network and other services are offered.
To date, the national and middle markets have comprised a significant amount of CIGNA HealthCare’s business. With the acquisition of Great-West Healthcare, the “Select,” small business, and emerging markets now constitute a larger share of CIGNA HealthCare’s business than before the acquisition.
CIGNA HealthCare employs sales representatives to distribute its products and services through insurance brokers and insurance consultants or directly to employers. CIGNA HealthCare also employs representatives to sell utilization review services, managed behavioral health care and employee assistance services directly to insurance companies, HMOs, third party administrators and employer groups. As of December 31, 2009, the field sales force for the products and services of this segment consisted of approximately 880 sales representatives in approximately 110 field locations.
Competition
CIGNA HealthCare’s business is subject to intense competition, and industry consolidation has created an even more competitive business environment. While no one competitor dominates the health care market, CIGNA HealthCare expects a continuing trend of consolidation in the industry given the current economic and political environment.
In certain geographic locations, some health care companies may have significant market share positions. A large number of health care companies and other entities compete in offering similar products. Competition in the health care market exists both for employers and other groups sponsoring plans and for the employees in those instances where the employer offers its employees the choice of products of more than one health care company. Most group policies are subject to annual review by the policyholder, who may seek competitive quotations prior to renewal.

 

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The principal competitive factors are: quality and cost-effectiveness of service and provider networks; effectiveness of medical care management; product responsiveness to the needs of customers and their employees; price; cost-containment services; technology; and effectiveness of marketing and sales. Financial strength of the insurer, as indicated by ratings issued by nationally recognized rating agencies, is also a competitive factor. For more information concerning insurance ratings, see “Ratings” in Section K beginning on page 32 of this Form 10-K. CIGNA HealthCare believes that its health advocacy capabilities, integrated approach to consumer engagement, breadth of product offerings, clinical care and medical management capabilities and funding options are strategic competitive advantages. These advantages allow CIGNA HealthCare to respond to the diverse needs of its customer base. CIGNA HealthCare also believes that its focus on helping to improve the health, well-being and sense of security of its members will allow it to distinguish itself from its competitors.
CIGNA HealthCare’s principal competitors are:
  other large insurance companies that provide group health and life insurance products;
  Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations;
  stand-alone HMOs and PPOs;
  third-party administrators;
  HMOs affiliated with major insurance companies and hospitals; and
  national managed pharmacy, behavioral health and utilization review services companies.
Competition also arises from smaller regional or specialty companies with strength in a particular geographic area or product line, administrative service firms and, indirectly, self-insurers. In addition to these traditional competitors, a new group of competitors is emerging. These new competitors are focused on delivering employee benefits and services through Internet-enabled technology that allows consumers to take a more active role in the management of their health. This is accomplished primarily through financial incentives, access to enhanced medical quality data and other information sharing. The effective use of the Company’s health advocacy capabilities, decision support tools (some of which are web-based) and enabling technology are critical to success in the health care industry, and CIGNA HealthCare believes they will be competitive differentiators.
Industry Developments
Both state and federal lawmakers have supported a broad range of health care reform efforts. These efforts intensified in 2009 with major health care legislative proposals being considered in the U.S. Congress. The possible enactment of proposed reform legislation is uncertain but, if enacted, could affect the health care industry in general and CIGNA, specifically. To improve the United States’ (U.S.) healthcare system in a sustainable way, CIGNA believes that three fundamental issues need to be addressed; cost, quality and access. CIGNA is intensely committed to developing workable solutions for reforming the U.S. healthcare system and believes such solutions must first address the underlying drivers of health care costs. Through continued development and wider adoption of health advocacy programs, cost management and wellness initiatives, CIGNA believes the U.S. health care system can better provide all its citizens access to affordable quality healthcare. For more information concerning health care reform, see “Proposed Health Care Reform” in the Industry Developments and Other Matters section of the MD&A on page 79.

 

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E. Disability and Life
CIGNA’s Disability and Life segment (“CIGNA Disability and Life”) provides the following insurance products and their related services: group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life insurance, workers’ compensation and disability case management, and accident and specialty insurance. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation. CIGNA Disability and Life markets products in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.
Principal Products and Services
Disability
CIGNA Disability and Life markets group long-term and short-term disability insurance products and services. These products and services generally provide a fixed level of income to replace a portion of wages lost because of disability. CIGNA Disability and Life also provides assistance to the employee in returning to work and assistance to the employer in managing the cost of employee disability. Group disability coverage is typically employer-paid or a combination of employer and employee-paid, but may also include coverage paid for entirely by employees.
CIGNA Disability and Life, through its Intracorp® subsidiary, also provides case management and related services to workers’ compensation insurers and employers who self-fund workers’ compensation and disability benefits.
CIGNA Disability and Life’s disability insurance products may be integrated with other disability benefit programs, behavioral programs, workers’ compensation, medical programs, social security advocacy, and leave of absence administration. CIGNA Disability and Life believes this integration provides customers with increased efficiency and effectiveness in disability claims management, enhances productivity and reduces overall costs to employers. Coordinating the administration of CIGNA Disability and Life disability and CIGNA HealthCare’s medical programs may provide enhanced opportunities to influence outcomes, reduce the cost of both medical and disability events and improve the return to work rate. CIGNA Disability and Life has formalized an integrated approach to health and wellness through CIGNA’s Disability and Healthcare Connect® program. This program uses information from the CIGNA HealthCare and CIGNA Disability and Life databases to help identify, treat and manage disabilities before they become chronic, longer in duration and more costly. Proactive outreach from CIGNA Behavioral Health assists employees suffering from a mental health condition, either as a primary condition or as a result of another condition. CIGNA may receive fees for providing these integrated services to customers.
CIGNA Disability and Life is an industry leader in returning employees to work quickly. Shorter disability claim durations mean higher productivity and lower cost for employers and a better quality of life for their employees. Data from a recent industry customer satisfaction survey showed that CIGNA Disability and Life’s short-term and long-term disability claimant satisfaction levels meet and in certain metrics exceed those of our competitors.
Approximately 8,200 insured disability policies covering approximately 5.1 million lives were outstanding as of December 31, 2009.
Life Insurance
Group life insurance products include group term life and group universal life. Group term life insurance may be employer-paid basic life insurance, employee-paid supplemental life insurance or a combination thereof.
CIGNA Disability and Life provides group universal life insurance to employers. Group universal life insurance is a voluntary life insurance product in which the owner may accumulate cash value. The cash value earns interest at rates declared from time to time, subject to a minimum guaranteed contracted rate, and may be borrowed, withdrawn, or, within certain limits, used to fund future life insurance coverage.
Approximately 4,300 group life insurance policies covering approximately 4.7 million lives were outstanding as of December 31, 2009.

 

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Other Products and Services
CIGNA Disability and Life offers personal accident insurance coverage, which consists primarily of accidental death and dismemberment and travel accident insurance to employers. Group accident insurance may be employer-paid or employee-paid.
CIGNA Disability and Life also offers specialty insurance services that consist primarily of disability and life, accident, and medical insurance to professional associations, financial institutions, and participant organizations. Renewal rights to CIGNA’s block of student and participant accident insurance business were sold to an unaffiliated insurer during 2009.
Voluntary benefits are those paid by the employee and are offered at the employer’s worksite. CIGNA Disability and Life plans provide employers, among other services, flexible enrollment options, list billing, medical underwriting, and individual record keeping. CIGNA Disability and Life designed its voluntary offerings to offer employers a complete and simple way to manage their benefits, including personalized enrollment communication and administration of the benefits program.
Financial information, including premiums and fees, is presented in the Disability and Life section of the MD&A beginning on page 69 and in Note 22 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 160 of this Form 10-K.
Pricing, Reserves and Reinsurance
CIGNA Disability and Life’s products and services are offered on a fully insured, experience-rated and ASO basis. Under fully insured arrangements, policyholders pay a fixed premium and CIGNA Disability and Life bears the risk for claims and costs. Under experience-rated funding arrangements, a premium that typically includes a margin to partially protect against adverse claim fluctuations is determined at the beginning of the policy period. CIGNA Disability and Life generally bears the risk if claims and expenses exceed this premium. If premiums exceed claims and expenses, any surplus amount is generally first used to offset prior deficits and is otherwise generally returned to the policyholder if surplus exceeds minimum contractual levels. With experience-rated insurance products, CIGNA Disability and Life may recover deficits from margins in future years if the policy is renewed. Under ASO arrangements, CIGNA Disability and Life contracts with groups sponsoring self-insured plans to administer claims and perform other plan related services in return for service fees. The self-insured plan sponsor is responsible for self funding all claims. The majority of CIGNA Disability and Life’s products and services are fully insured.
Premiums and fees charged for disability and life insurance products are generally established in advance of the policy period and are generally guaranteed for one to three years and selectively guaranteed for up to five years, but policies can in most cases be subject to early termination by the policyholder or by the insurance company.
Premium rates reflect assumptions about future claims, expenses, credit risk, investment returns and profit margins. Assumptions may be based in whole or in part on prior experience of the account or on a pool of accounts, depending on the group size and the statistical credibility of the experience, which varies by product.
Premiums for group universal life insurance products consist of mortality, administrative and surrender charges assessed against the policyholder’s fund balance. Interest credited and mortality charges for group universal life, and mortality charges on group variable universal life, may be adjusted prospectively to reflect expected interest and mortality experience. Mortality charges are subject to guaranteed maximum rates, based on standard mortality tables, which rates are stated in the policy.
In addition to paying current benefits and expenses, CIGNA Disability and Life establishes reserves in amounts estimated to be sufficient to pay reported claims not yet paid, as well as claims incurred but not yet reported. For liabilities with longer-term pay-out periods such as long-term disability, reserves represent the present value of future expected payments. CIGNA Disability and Life discounts these expected payments using assumptions for interest rates and the length of time over which claims are expected to be paid. The annual effective interest rate assumptions used in determining reserves for most of the long-term disability insurance business is 5% for claims that were incurred in 2009 and 4.75% for claims that were incurred in 2008. For group universal life insurance, CIGNA Disability and Life establishes reserves for deposits received and interest credited to the policyholder, less mortality and administrative charges assessed against the policyholder’s fund balance.

 

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The profitability of this segment’s products depends on the adequacy of premiums charged and investment returns relative to claims and expenses. The effectiveness of return to work programs and mortality levels also impact the profitability of disability insurance products. CIGNA Disability and Life’s previous claim experience and industry data indicate a correlation between disability claim incidence levels and economic conditions, with submitted claims rising under adverse economic conditions, although the impact of the current adverse economic conditions is not clear. For life insurance products, the degree to which future experience deviates from mortality, morbidity and expense assumptions also affects profitability.
In order to reduce its exposure to large individual and catastrophic losses under group life, disability and accidental death policies, CIGNA Disability and Life purchases reinsurance from unaffiliated reinsurers.
Markets and Distribution
CIGNA Disability and Life markets the group insurance products and services described above to employers, employees, professional and other associations and groups. In marketing these products, CIGNA Disability and Life employs a sales force to target customers with 50 or more employees and the products and services of this segment are primarily distributed through insurance brokers and consultants, along with some direct sales. As of December 31, 2009, the field sales force for the products and services of this segment consisted of approximately 200 sales professionals in 27 office locations.
Competition
The principal competitive factors that affect the CIGNA Disability and Life segment are underwriting and pricing, the quality and effectiveness of claims management, relative operating efficiency, investment and risk management, distribution methodologies and producer relations, the breadth and variety of products and services offered, and the quality of customer service. The Company believes that CIGNA Disability and Life’s claims management capabilities and integration with CIGNA HealthCare’s benefits provide a competitive advantage in this marketplace.
For certain products with longer-term liabilities, such as group long-term disability insurance, the financial strength of the insurer, as indicated by ratings issued by nationally recognized rating agencies, is also a competitive factor. For more information concerning insurance ratings, see “Ratings” in Section K beginning on page 32 of this Form 10-K.
The principal competitors of CIGNA’s group disability, life and accident businesses are other large and regional insurance companies that market and distribute these or similar types of products.
As of December 31, 2009, CIGNA is one of the top five providers of group disability, life and accident insurance in the United States, based on premiums.

 

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Industry Developments and Strategic Initiatives
The group insurance market remains highly competitive as the rising cost of providing medical coverage to employees has forced companies to re-evaluate their overall employee benefit spending. Demographic shifts have further driven demand for products and services that are sufficiently flexible to meet the evolving needs of employers and employees who want innovative, cost-effective solutions to their insurance needs. Employers continue to shift towards greater employee participatory coverage and voluntary purchases.
Employers are also expressing a growing interest in employee wellness, absence management and productivity and recognizing a strong link between health, productivity and their profitability. CIGNA is well-positioned to offer employers programs that promote a healthy lifestyle, offer assistance in returning to work and integrate health care and disability programs. CIGNA believes it is well positioned to deliver integrated solutions that address these broad employer and employee needs. CIGNA also believes that its strong disability management portfolio and fully integrated programs provide employers and employees tools to improve health status. This focus on managing the employee’s total absence enables CIGNA to increase the number and likelihood of interventions and minimize disabling events.
The disability industry is under continuing review by regulators and legislators with respect to its offset practices regarding Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”). The Company has received one Congressional inquiry and has responded to the information request. Also, at least one state has considered legislation that would restrict the use of such offset provisions in disability policies. The Company is also involved in related pending civil litigation. If the industry is forced to change its offset SSDI procedures, the practices and products for this segment could be significantly impacted.

 

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F. International
CIGNA’s International segment (“CIGNA International”) offers life, accident and supplemental health insurance products as well as international health care products and services. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation, including foreign operating entities.
Principal Products and Services
Life, Accident and Supplemental Health Insurance
CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health insurance products generally provide simple, affordable coverage of risks for the health and financial security of individuals. Supplemental health products provide a specified payment for a variety of health risks and include personal accident, accidental death, critical illness, hospitalization, dental, cancer and other dread disease coverages. Variable universal life insurance products are also included in the product portfolio. CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health insurance products are offered in South Korea, Taiwan, the European Union, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, New Zealand and Thailand.
International Health Care
CIGNA International’s health care businesses primarily consist of products and services to meet the needs of multinational companies and their expatriate employees and dependents. These benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment and disability products. The expatriate benefits products and services are offered through guaranteed cost, experience-rated, administrative services only, and minimum premium funding arrangements. For definitions of funding arrangements, see “Funding Arrangements” in Section D beginning on page 3 of this Form 10-K. The customers of CIGNA International’s expatriate benefits business are multinational companies and international organizations headquartered in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, China and other international locations.
In addition, CIGNA International’s health care businesses include medical products, which are primarily provided through group benefits programs to local employees in the United Kingdom and Spain. These products include medical indemnity insurance coverage, with some offerings having managed care or administrative service aspects. These products generally provide an alternative or supplement to government provided national health care programs.
Financial information, including premiums and fees, is presented in the International section of the MD&A beginning on page 71 and in Note 22 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 160 of this Form 10-K.
Pricing, Reserves and Reinsurance
Premiums for CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health insurance products are based on assumptions about mortality, morbidity, customer retention, expenses and target profit margins, as well as interest rates. The profitability of these products is primarily driven by mortality, morbidity, and customer retention.
Fees for variable universal life insurance products consist of mortality, administrative, asset management and surrender charges assessed against the contractholder’s fund balance. Mortality charges on variable universal life may be adjusted prospectively to reflect expected mortality experience.
Premiums and fees for CIGNA International’s health care products reflect assumptions about future claims, expenses, membership demographics, investment returns, and profit margins. For products using networks of contracted providers, premiums reflect assumptions about the impact of provider contracts and utilization management on future claims. Most of the premium volume for the medical indemnity business is on a guaranteed cost basis. Other premiums are established on an experience-rated basis. Most contracts permit rate changes at least annually.
The profitability of health care products is dependent upon the accuracy of projections for health care inflation (unit cost, location of delivery of care, including currency of incurral and utilization), membership demographics, the adequacy of fees charged for administration and effective medical cost management.

 

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In addition to paying current benefits and expenses, CIGNA International establishes reserves in amounts estimated to be sufficient to settle reported claims not yet paid, claims incurred but not yet reported as well as future amounts payable on experience-rated arrangements. Additionally, for some individual life insurance and supplemental health insurance products, CIGNA International establishes policy reserves which reflect the present value of expected future obligations less the present value of expected future premiums attributable to policyholder obligations. CIGNA International defers acquisition costs, such as commissions, telemarketing, direct response marketing and policy fulfillment costs, incurred in the sales of long-duration life, accident and supplemental health products. For most products, these costs are amortized in proportion to premium revenue recognized, which is impacted by customer retention. For variable universal life products, acquisition costs are amortized in proportion to expected gross profits.
CIGNA International reduces its exposure to large and/or multiple losses arising out of a single occurrence by purchasing reinsurance from unaffiliated reinsurers.
Markets and Distribution
CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health insurance products are generally marketed through distribution partners with whom the individual insured has an affinity relationship. These products are sold primarily through direct marketing channels, such as outbound telemarketing and in-branch bancassurance. Marketing campaigns are conducted through these channels under a variety of arrangements with affinity partners. These affinity partners primarily include banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions. CIGNA International also distributes directly to consumers via direct response television and the Internet. CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health insurance businesses are located in South Korea, Taiwan, the European Union, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, New Zealand and Thailand.
CIGNA International’s health care products are distributed through independent brokers and consultants, select partners and CIGNA International’s own sales personnel. The customers of CIGNA International’s expatriate benefits business are multinational companies and international organizations headquartered in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, China and other international locations. In addition, CIGNA International’s health care businesses include medical products, which are provided through group and individual benefits programs in the United Kingdom and Spain.
For CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health insurance products, a significant portion of premiums are billed and collected through credit cards. A substantial contraction in consumer credit could impact CIGNA International’s ability to retain existing policies and sell new policies. A decline in customer retention would result in both a reduction of revenue and an acceleration of the amortization of acquisition related costs.
South Korea represents the single largest geographic market for CIGNA International’s businesses. In 2009, South Korea generated 29% of CIGNA International’s revenues and 49% of its segment earnings. For information on the concentration of risk with respect to CIGNA International’s business in South Korea, see “Other Items Affecting International Results” in the International section of the MD&A beginning on page 71 of this Form 10-K.
Competition
Competitive factors in CIGNA International’s life, accident and supplemental health and expatriate benefits businesses include product and distribution innovation and differentiation, efficient management of marketing processes and costs, commission levels paid to distribution partners, and quality of claims and customer services.
The principal competitive factors that affect CIGNA International’s health care businesses are underwriting and pricing, relative operating efficiency, relative effectiveness in network development and medical cost management, product innovation and differentiation, broker relations, and the quality of claims and customer service. In most overseas markets, perception of financial strength is also an important competitive factor.
For the life, accident and supplemental health insurance line of business, competitors are primarily locally based insurance companies, including insurance subsidiaries of banks primarily in Asia and Europe. However, insurance company competitors in this segment primarily focus on traditional product distribution through captive agents, with direct marketing being a secondary objective. CIGNA International estimates that it has less than 2% market share of the total life insurance premiums in any given market in which it operates.

 

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With respect to the expatriate benefits business, CIGNA International is a market leader in the U.S. Its primary competitors include U.S.-based and European health insurance companies with global expatriate benefits operations. For the health care operations in the United Kingdom and Spain, the primary competitors are regional and local insurers, with CIGNA’s market share at less than 5% of the premiums of the total local health care market.
CIGNA International expects that the competitive environment will intensify as U.S. and Europe-based insurance and financial services providers pursue global expansion opportunities.
Industry Developments
Pressure on social health care systems and increased wealth and education in emerging markets is leading to higher demand for products providing health insurance and financial security. In the life, accident and supplemental health business, direct marketing is growing and attracting new competitors while industry consolidation among financial institutions and other affinity partners continues. Increased regulations requiring foreign workers to show proof of health insurance are creating opportunities for CIGNA International’s health care businesses. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 35 of this Form 10-K for a discussion of risks related to CIGNA International.

 

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G. Run-off Reinsurance
Principal Products and Services
Until 2000, CIGNA offered reinsurance coverage for part or all of the risks written by other insurance companies (or “ceding companies”) under life and annuity policies (both group and individual) and accident policies (workers’ compensation, personal accident, and catastrophe coverages). The products and services related to these operations were offered by subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation.
In 2000, CIGNA sold its U.S. individual life, group life and accidental death reinsurance businesses. CIGNA placed its remaining reinsurance businesses (including its accident, international life, and annuity reinsurance businesses) into run-off as of June 1, 2000, and stopped underwriting new reinsurance business.
CIGNA’s exposures stem primarily from its annuity reinsurance business, including its reinsurance of guaranteed minimum death benefits (“GMDB”) and guaranteed minimum income benefits (“GMIB”) contracts. Additional exposures arise from its reinsurance of workers’ compensation and other personal accident and catastrophic risks.
Life and Annuity Policies
Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit Contracts
CIGNA’s reinsurance segment reinsured GMDB (also known as variable annuity death benefits (“VADBe”)), under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are essentially investments in mutual funds combined with a death benefit. CIGNA has equity and other market exposures as a result of this product. The Company purchased retrocessional protection that covers approximately 5% of the assumed risks. The Company also maintains a dynamic hedge program (“GMDB equity hedge program”) to substantially reduce the equity market exposures relating to GMDB contracts by entering into exchange-traded futures contracts.
For additional information about GMDB contracts, see “Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefits” under Run-off Reinsurance section of the MD&A beginning on page 73 and Note 7 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 117 of this Form 10-K.
Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit Contracts
In certain circumstances where CIGNA’s reinsurance operations reinsured the GMDB, CIGNA also reinsured GMIB under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are essentially investments in mutual funds combined with minimum income and death benefits. All reinsured GMIB policies also have a GMDB benefit reinsured by the Company. When annuitants elect to receive these minimum income benefits, CIGNA may be required to make payments which will vary based on changes in underlying mutual fund values and interest rates. CIGNA has retrocessional coverage for 55% of the exposures on these contracts, provided by two external reinsurers.
For additional information about GMIB contracts, see “Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefits” under Run-off Reinsurance section of the MD&A beginning on page 73 and Note 11 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 132 of this Form 10-K.
WorkersCompensation, Personal Accident and Catastrophe
CIGNA reinsured workers’ compensation and other personal accident and catastrophic risks in the London market and in the United States. CIGNA purchased retrocessional coverage in these markets to reduce the risk of loss on these contracts.

 

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Markets and Distribution
These products under CIGNA’s Run-off Reinsurance segment were sold principally in North America and Europe through a small sales force and through intermediaries.
Prior to 2000, CIGNA also purchased reinsurance to reduce the risk of losses on contracts that it had written. CIGNA determines its net exposure for run-off reinsurance contracts by estimating the portion of its policy and claim reserves that it expects will be recovered from its reinsurers (or “retrocessionaires”) and reflecting these in its financial statements as Reinsurance Recoverables, or, with respect to GMIB contracts discussed above, as Other Assets.
Other Risks
For more information on policy and claim reserves see the Run-off Reinsurance section of the MD&A beginning on page 73, and Notes 8 and 11 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on pages 121 and 132 respectively of this Form 10-K. For more information on the risk associated with Run-off Reinsurance, see the Risk Factors beginning on page 35 of this Form 10-K, and the Critical Accounting Estimates section of the MD&A beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K.

 

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H. Other Operations
Other Operations consists of:
  non-leveraged and leveraged corporate-owned life insurance;
  deferred gains recognized from the 1998 sale of the individual life insurance and annuity business and the 2004 sale of the retirement benefits business; and
  run-off settlement annuity business.
The products and services related to these operations are offered by subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation.
Corporate-owned Life Insurance (“COLI”)
Principal Products and Services
The principal products of the COLI business are permanent insurance contracts sold to corporations to provide coverage on the lives of certain of their employees. Permanent life insurance provides coverage that, when adequately funded, does not expire after a term of years. The contracts are primarily non-participating universal life policies. The key distinction between leveraged and non-leveraged COLI products is that, with leveraged COLI, the product design anticipates borrowing by the policy owner of a portion of the surrender value, while policy loans are not a significant feature of non-leveraged COLI.
Universal life policies typically provide flexible coverage and flexible premium payments. Policy cash values fluctuate with the amount of the premiums paid, mortality and expense charges assessed, and interest credited to the policy. Variable universal life policies are universal life contracts in which the cash values vary directly with the performance of a specific pool of investments underlying the policy.
The principal services provided by the COLI business are issuance and administration of the insurance policies (e.g., maintenance of records regarding cash values and death benefits, claims processing, etc.) as well as oversight of the investment management for separate account assets that support the variable universal life product.
Product Features
Cash values on universal life policies are credited interest at a declared interest rate that reflects the anticipated investment results of the assets backing these policies and may vary with the characteristics of each product. Universal life policies generally have a minimum guaranteed declared interest rate which may be cumulative from the issuance date of the policy. The declared interest rate may be changed monthly, but is generally changed less frequently. In lieu of credited interest rates, holders of certain universal life policies may elect to receive credited income based on changes in an equity index, such as the S&P 500®. No such elections have been made since 2004.
Cash values on variable universal life policies vary directly with the performance of a specific pool of investments underlying the policy. A limited number of variable universal life policies guarantee that the realized investment performance for a quarter, excluding the impact of unrealized gains/losses and the impact of credit-related events, will not be negative.
Mortality risk is retained according to guidelines established by CIGNA. To the extent a given policy carries mortality risk that exceeds these guidelines, reinsurance is purchased from third parties for the balance.
Pricing, Reserves, and Reinsurance
Fees for universal life insurance products consist of mortality, administrative and surrender charges assessed against the policyholder’s fund balance. Interest credited and mortality charges for universal life and mortality charges on variable universal life may be adjusted prospectively to reflect expected interest and mortality experience.
For universal life insurance, CIGNA establishes reserves for deposits received and interest credited to the contractholder, less mortality and administrative charges assessed against the contractholder’s fund balance.

 

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In order to reduce its exposure to large individual and catastrophe losses, CIGNA purchases reinsurance from unaffiliated reinsurers.
Markets and Distribution
From 2004 to 2008, the Company was not actively marketing and distributing COLI products. In 2008, the Company decided to re-enter the market for COLI products, and is actively pursuing new COLI business.
The principal markets for COLI products are regional to national account-sized corporations, including banks. CIGNA’s COLI products are offered through a select group of independent brokers with particular expertise in the bank market and in the use of COLI for the financing of benefit plan liabilities.
Competition
The principal competitive factors that affect CIGNA’s COLI business are pricing, service, product innovation and access to third-party distribution.
For CIGNA’s COLI business, competitors are primarily national life insurance companies, including insurance subsidiaries of banks.
CIGNA expects that the competitive environment will intensify as the economy recovers and competitors develop new investment strategies and product designs, and aggressively price their offerings to build distribution capacity and gain market share.
Industry Developments and Strategic Initiatives
The legislative environment surrounding COLI has evolved considerably over the past decade, and there are ongoing discussions at the state and federal levels that have the potential to impact the policyholder’s tax treatment and/or administrative requirements. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 included provisions related to the notice requirements given to insured employees and limited coverage to certain more highly compensated employees. These changes were widely viewed as clarification of existing rules or industry best practices.
Sale of Individual Life Insurance & Annuity and Retirement Benefits Businesses
CIGNA sold its individual life insurance and annuity business in 1998 and its retirement benefits business in 2004. Portions of the gains from these sales were deferred because the principal agreements to sell these businesses were structured as reinsurance arrangements. The deferred portion relating to the remaining reinsurance is being recognized at the rate that earnings from the sold businesses would have been expected to emerge, primarily over 15 years on a declining basis.
Because the individual life and annuity business was sold in an indemnity reinsurance transaction, CIGNA is not relieved of primary liability for the reinsured business and had reinsurance recoverables totaling $4.4 billion as of December 31, 2009. Effective as of December 14, 2007, the purchaser placed a significant portion of the assets supporting the reserves for the purchased business into a trust for the benefit of CIGNA which qualifies to support CIGNA’s credit for the reinsurance ceded under Regulation 114 of the New York Department of Insurance. Trust assets are limited to cash, certificates of deposits in U.S. banks, and securities specified by section 1404 (a) of the New York insurance law and consist primarily of fixed maturities. At December 31, 2009, the value of the trust assets secured approximately 90% of the reinsurance recoverable. The remaining balance is currently unsecured. If Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and Lincoln Life & Annuity of New York do not maintain a specified minimum credit or claims paying rating, these reinsurers are required to fully secure the outstanding balance. S&P has assigned each of these companies a rating of AA-.
CIGNA’s sale of its retirement benefits business primarily took the form of an arrangement under which CIGNA reinsured with the purchaser of the retirement business the general account contractholder liabilities under an indemnity reinsurance arrangement and the separate account liabilities under modified coinsurance and indemnity reinsurance arrangements. Since the sale of the retirement benefits business in 2004, the purchaser of that business has entered into agreements with certain insured party contractholders (“novation agreements”), which relieved CIGNA of any remaining contractual obligations to the contractholders. As a result, CIGNA reduced reinsurance recoverables, contractholder deposit funds, and separate account balances for these obligations.

 

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The purchaser of the retirement benefits business deposited assets associated with the reinsurance of general account contracts into a trust (the “Ceded Business Trust”) to provide security to CIGNA for the related reinsurance recoverables. The purchaser is permitted to withdraw assets from the Ceded Business Trust equal to the reduction in CIGNA’s reserves whenever a reduction occurs. For example, reductions will occur when the purchaser enters into additional novation agreements and directly assumes liability to the insured party. Assets in the trust must be greater than or equal to general account statutory liabilities of the ceded business. Trust assets are limited to those types of investments that are permitted by the state of Connecticut for general account investing and consist primarily of fixed maturities. As of December 31, 2009, assets totaling $2.4 billion remained in the Ceded Business Trust, and the remaining reserves for the purchased business were $1.7 billion.
Settlement Annuity Business
CIGNA’s settlement annuity business is a run-off block of contracts. These contracts are primarily liability settlements with approximately 35% of the liabilities associated with payments that are guaranteed and not contingent on survivorship. In the case of the contracts that involve non-guaranteed payments, such payments are contingent on the survival of one or more parties involved in the settlement.
The settlement annuities business is premium deficient, meaning initial premiums were not sufficient to cover all claims and profit. Liabilities are estimates of the present value of benefits to be paid less the present value of investment income generated by the assets supporting the product including realized and unrealized capital gains. The Company estimates these liabilities based on assumptions for investment yields, mortality, and administrative expenses. Refer to Note 2 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 103 of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding reserves for this business.
Other Risks
For more information, see the Other Operations section of the MD&A beginning on page 77 of this Form 10-K.

 

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I. Investments and Investment Income
CIGNA’s investment operations provide investment management and related services primarily for CIGNA’s corporate invested assets and the insurance-related invested assets in its General Account (“Invested Assets”). CIGNA acquires or originates, directly or through intermediaries, various investments including private placements, public securities, commercial mortgage loans, real estate and short-term investments. CIGNA’s Invested Assets are managed primarily by CIGNA subsidiaries and external managers with whom CIGNA’s subsidiaries contract.
The Invested Assets comprise a majority of the combined assets of the Health Care, Disability and Life, Run-off Reinsurance and Other Operations segments (collectively, the “Domestic Portfolios”). There are, in addition, portfolios containing Invested Assets that consist of the assets of the International segment (collectively, the “International Portfolios”). Additionally, CIGNA subsidiaries or external managers manage Separate Account assets on behalf of contractholders. These assets are legally segregated from the Company’s other businesses and are not included in the General Account Invested Assets. Income, gains and losses generally accrue directly to the contractholders.
Net investment income and realized investment gains (losses) are not reported separately in the investment operations. Instead, net investment income is included as a component of earnings for each of CIGNA’s operating segments (Health Care, Disability and Life, Run-off Reinsurance, Other Operations and International) and Corporate, net of the expenses attributable to the investment operations. Realized investment gains (losses) are reported for each of CIGNA’s operating segments.
Assets Under Management
CIGNA’s Invested Assets under management at December 31, 2009 totaled $19.8 billion. See Schedule I to CIGNA’s 2009 Consolidated Financial Statements on page FS-3 of this Form 10-K for more information as to the allocation to types of investments.
As of December 31, 2009, CIGNA’s separate account funds consisted of:
  $1.4 billion in separate account assets that are managed by the buyer of the retirement benefits business pursuant to reinsurance arrangements described in the Sales of Individual Life Insurance & Annuity and Retirement Benefits Businesses sections in Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 112 of this Form 10-K;
  $2.6 billion in separate account assets, which constitute a portion of the assets of the CIGNA Pension Plan; and
  $3.3 billion in separate account assets, which primarily support certain corporate-owned life insurance, health care and disability and life products.
Types of Investments
CIGNA invests in a broad range of asset classes, including domestic and international fixed maturities and common stocks, commercial mortgage loans, real estate and short-term investments. Fixed maturity investments include publicly traded and private placement corporate bonds, government bonds, publicly traded and private placement asset-backed securities, and redeemable preferred stocks.
For the International Portfolios, CIGNA invests primarily in publicly traded fixed maturities, short-term investments and time deposits denominated in the currency of the relevant liabilities and surplus.
Fixed Maturities
CIGNA’s fixed maturities are 92% investment grade as determined by external rating agencies (for public investments) and by CIGNA (for private investments). These assets are well diversified by individual holding and industry sector. For information about below investment grade holdings, see the “Investment Assets” section of the MD&A beginning on page 87 of this Form 10-K.

 

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Commercial Mortgages and Real Estate
Commercial mortgage loan investments are subject to underwriting criteria addressing loan-to-value ratio, debt service coverage, cash flow, tenant quality, leasing, market, location and borrower’s financial strength. Such investments consist primarily of first mortgage loans on commercial properties and are diversified by property type, location and borrower. CIGNA invests primarily in commercial mortgages on fully completed and substantially leased commercial properties. Virtually all of CIGNA’s commercial mortgage loans are balloon payment loans, under which all or a substantial portion of the loan principal is due at the end of the loan term. CIGNA holds no direct residential mortgages. The weighted average loan-to-value ratio of the Company’s commercial mortgage loan portfolio, based on management’s annual valuation completed in the third quarter of 2009, was approximately 77% and the weighted average debt service coverage was approximately 1.5 times.
CIGNA enters into joint ventures with local partners to develop, lease, manage, and sell commercial real estate to maximize investment returns. CIGNA’s portfolio of real estate investments consists of properties under development and stabilized properties, and is diversified relative to property type and location. Additionally, CIGNA invests in third-party sponsored real estate funds to maximize investment returns and to maintain diversity with respect to its real estate related exposure.
CIGNA also could take possession of real estate through foreclosure of delinquent commercial mortgage loans. CIGNA rehabilitates, re-leases, and sells foreclosed properties, a process that usually takes from two to four years unless management considers a near-term sale preferable. As of December 31, 2009, CIGNA held $59 million of foreclosed properties.
Mezzanine and Private Equity Partnerships
CIGNA invests in limited partnership interests in partnerships formed and managed by seasoned, experienced fund managers with diverse mezzanine and private equity strategies.
Derivative Instruments
CIGNA generally uses derivative financial instruments to minimize its exposure to certain market risks. CIGNA has also written derivative instruments to minimize certain insurance customers’ market risks. In addition, to enhance investment returns, CIGNA may invest in indexed credit default swaps or other credit derivatives from time to time. However, as of December 31, 2009, CIGNA held no indexed credit default swaps or other credit derivatives. For information about CIGNA’s use of derivative financial instruments, see Note 13 to CIGNA’s 2009 Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 146 of this Form 10-K.
See also the “Investment Assets” section of the MD&A beginning on page 87, and Notes 1, 12, and 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on pages 103, 141 and 149, respectively, of this Form 10-K for additional information about CIGNA’s investments.
Domestic Portfolios — Investment Strategy
As of December 31, 2009, the Domestic Portfolios had $18.3 billion in Invested Assets, allocated among fixed maturity investments (66%); commercial mortgage loan investments (19%); and policy loans, real estate investments, short-term investments and mezzanine and private equity partnership investments (15%).
CIGNA generally manages the characteristics of these assets to reflect the underlying characteristics of related insurance and contractholder liabilities and related capital requirements, as well as regulatory and tax considerations pertaining to those liabilities, and state investment laws. CIGNA’s domestic insurance and contractholder liabilities as of December 31, 2009, excluding liabilities of businesses sold through the use of reinsurance arrangements, were associated with the following products, and the Invested Assets are allocated proportionally as follows: other life and health, 51%; fully guaranteed annuity, 18%; and interest-sensitive life insurance, 31%.

 

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While the businesses and products supported are described elsewhere in this Form 10-K, the Invested Assets supporting the insurance and contractholder liabilities of each of the Company’s segments are as follows:
  assets supporting CIGNA’s Health Care segment are structured to emphasize investment income, and provide the necessary liquidity to meet cash flow requirements.
  assets supporting CIGNA’s Disability and Life segment are also structured to emphasize investment income, and provide necessary liquidity to meet cash flow requirements. Invested Assets supporting longer-term group disability insurance benefits and group life waiver of premium benefits are generally managed to an aggregate duration similar to that of the related benefit cash flows.
  assets supporting the Run-off Reinsurance segment with respect to reinsurance provided for guaranteed minimum death benefit contracts and guaranteed minimum income benefit contracts are structured to emphasize investment income, and provide the necessary liquidity to meet cash flow requirements. For information about CIGNA’s use of derivative financial instruments in the Run-off Reinsurance segment, see Notes 7 and 11 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on pages 117 and 132 of this Form 10-K.
  assets supporting CIGNA’s Other Operations segment are associated primarily with fully guaranteed annuities (primarily settlement annuities) and interest-sensitive life insurance (primarily corporate-owned life insurance products). Because settlement annuities generally do not permit withdrawal by policyholders prior to maturity, the amount and timing of future benefit cash flows can be reasonably estimated so funds supporting these products are invested in fixed income investments whose aggregate duration generally matches the cash flows of the related benefits. As of December 31, 2009, the duration of assets that supported these liabilities was approximately 11.2 years. Invested Assets supporting interest-sensitive life insurance products are primarily fixed income investments and policy loans. Fixed income investments emphasize investment yield while meeting the liquidity requirements of the related liabilities.
Investment strategy and results are affected by the amount and timing of cash available for investment, competition for investments, economic conditions, interest rates and asset allocation decisions. CIGNA routinely monitors and evaluates the status of its investments in light of current economic conditions, trends in capital markets and other factors. Such factors include industry sector considerations for fixed maturity investments and mezzanine and private equity partnership investments, and geographic and property-type considerations for commercial mortgage loan and real estate investments.
International Portfolios — Investment Strategy
As of December 31, 2009 the International Portfolios had $1.5 billion in Invested Assets, allocated among fixed maturity investments (93%), short-term investments (5%) and other investments (2%). The International Portfolios are primarily managed by external managers with whom CIGNA’s subsidiaries contract.
The characteristics of these assets are generally managed to reflect the underlying characteristics of related insurance and contractholder liabilities, as well as regulatory and tax considerations in the countries where CIGNA’s subsidiaries operate. CIGNA International’s Invested Assets are generally invested in the currency of related liabilities, typically the currency in which the subsidiaries operate and with an aggregate duration generally matching the duration of insurance liabilities and surplus. CIGNA’s investment policy allows the investment of subsidiary assets in U.S. dollars to the extent permitted by applicable regulation. CIGNA International’s Invested Assets as of December 31, 2009 were held primarily in support of statutory surplus and liabilities associated with the life, accident and supplemental health and healthcare products described in Section F on page 17 of this Form 10-K.

 

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J. Regulation
CIGNA and its subsidiaries are subject to federal, state and international regulations and CIGNA has established policies and procedures to comply with applicable requirements.
CIGNA’s insurance and HMO subsidiaries must be licensed by the jurisdictions in which they conduct business. These subsidiaries are subject to numerous state and federal regulations related to their business operations, including, but not limited to:
  the form and content of customer contracts including benefit mandates (including special requirements for small groups, generally under 50 employees);
  premium rates;
  the content of agreements with participating providers of covered services;
  producer appointment and compensation;
  claims processing and appeals;
  underwriting practices;
  reinsurance arrangements;
  unfair trade and claim practices;
  protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the information received from members;
  risk sharing arrangements with providers; and
  the operation of consumer-directed plans (including health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, flexible spending accounts and debit cards).
CIGNA and its international subsidiaries comply with regulations in international jurisdictions where foreign insurers are, in some countries, faced with greater restrictions than their domestic competitors. These restrictions may include discriminatory licensing procedures, compulsory cessions of reinsurance, required localization of records and funds, higher premium and income taxes, and requirements for local participation in an insurer’s ownership.
CIGNA and its subsidiaries are also subject to state and federal laws relating to business entities.
Regulatory agencies conduct routine and targeted market conduct examinations of CIGNA’s insurance and HMO subsidiaries to assess compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Other types of regulatory oversight predominantly as to CIGNA and its subsidiaries’ products and services are described below.
Regulation of Insurance Companies
Financial Reporting
Regulators closely monitor the financial condition of licensed insurance companies and HMOs. States regulate the form and content of statutory financial statements and the type and concentration of permitted investments. CIGNA’s insurance and HMO subsidiaries are required to file periodic financial reports with regulators in most of the jurisdictions in which they do business, and their operations and accounts are subject to examination by such agencies at regular intervals.

 

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Guaranty Associations, Indemnity Funds, Risk Pools and Administrative Funds
Most states and certain non-U.S. jurisdictions require insurance companies to support guaranty associations or indemnity funds, which are established to pay claims on behalf of insolvent insurance companies. In the United States, these associations levy assessments on member insurers licensed in a particular state to pay such claims.
Several states also require HMOs to participate in guaranty funds, special risk pools and administrative funds. For additional information about guaranty fund and other assessments, see Note 23 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 163 of this Form 10-K.
Some states also require health insurers and HMOs to participate in assigned risk plans, joint underwriting authorities, pools or other residual market mechanisms to cover risks not acceptable under normal underwriting standards.
Solvency and Capital Requirements
Many states have adopted some form of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) model solvency-related laws and risk-based capital rules (“RBC rules”) for life and health insurance companies. The RBC rules recommend a minimum level of capital depending on the types and quality of investments held, the types of business written and the types of liabilities incurred. If the ratio of the insurer’s adjusted surplus to its risk-based capital falls below statutory required minimums, the insurer could be subject to regulatory actions ranging from increased scrutiny to conservatorship.
In addition, various non-U.S. jurisdictions prescribe minimum surplus requirements that are based upon solvency, liquidity and reserve coverage measures. During 2009, CIGNA’s HMOs and life and health insurance subsidiaries, as well as non-U.S. insurance subsidiaries, were compliant with applicable RBC and non-U.S. surplus rules.
Effective December 31, 2009 the Company’s principal life insurance subsidiary, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (“CGLIC”), implemented the NAIC’s Actuarial Guideline XLIII (also known as AG 43 or VACARVM), which is applicable to CGLIC’s statutory reserves for GMDB and GMIB contracts totaling $1.6 billion as of December 31, 2009. As provided under this guidance, CGLIC received approval from the State of Connecticut to grade-in the full effect of the guideline over a 3-year period. Accordingly, upon implementation at December 31, 2009, statutory surplus for CGLIC was reduced by $40 million. If the guidance had been fully implemented at December 31, 2009, statutory surplus would have been reduced by $110 million. Management does not anticipate that this implementation will have a material impact on the amount of dividends expected to be paid by CGLIC to the parent company in 2010. This implementation has no impact on measurement of the Company’s results of operations or financial condition as determined under GAAP.
Holding Company Laws
CIGNA’s domestic insurance companies and certain of its HMOs are subject to state laws regulating subsidiaries of insurance holding companies. Under such laws, certain dividends, distributions and other transactions between an insurance or HMO subsidiary and its affiliates may require notification to, or approval by, one or more state insurance commissioners.
Marketing, Advertising, and Products
In most states, CIGNA’s insurance companies and HMO subsidiaries are required to certify compliance with applicable advertising regulations on an annual basis. CIGNA’s insurance companies and HMO subsidiaries are also required in most states to file and secure regulatory approval of products prior to the marketing, advertising, and sale of such products. State and/or federal regulatory scrutiny of life and health insurance company and HMO marketing and advertising practices, including the adequacy of disclosure regarding products and their administration, may result in increased regulation. Product offerings, such as the CIGNA limited benefits plans issued by the Star HRG business acquired in July 2006, attracted increased regulatory scrutiny in 2009.

 

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Licensing Requirements
Pharmacy Licensure Laws
Certain CIGNA subsidiaries are pharmacies, which dispense prescription drugs to participants of benefit plans administered or insured by CIGNA subsidiary HMOs and insurance companies. These pharmacy-subsidiaries are subject to state licensing requirements and regulation.
International Licensure Laws
CIGNA International subsidiaries are often required to be licensed when entering new markets or starting new operations in certain jurisdictions. The licensure requirements for these CIGNA subsidiaries vary by country and are subject to change.
Claim Administration, Utilization Review and Related Services
Certain CIGNA subsidiaries contract for the provision of claim administration, utilization management and other related services with respect to the administration of self-insured benefit plans. These CIGNA subsidiaries may be subject to state third-party administration and other licensing requirements and regulation.
Federal Regulations
Employee Retirement Income Security Act
CIGNA subsidiaries sell most of their products and services to sponsors of employee benefit plans that are governed by ERISA. CIGNA subsidiaries may be subject to requirements imposed by ERISA on plan fiduciaries and parties in interest, including regulations affecting claim and appeals procedures for health, dental, disability, life and accident plans.
Medicare Regulations
Several CIGNA subsidiaries engage in businesses that are subject to federal Medicare regulations such as:
  those offering individual and group Medicare Advantage (HMO) coverage in Arizona;
  contractual arrangements with the federal government for the processing of certain Medicare claims and other administrative services; and
  those offering Medicare Pharmacy (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Private Fee For Service products that are subject to federal Medicare regulations.
Several CIGNA subsidiaries are also subject to reporting requirements pursuant to Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007.
Federal Audits of Government Sponsored Health Care Programs
Participation in government sponsored health care programs subjects CIGNA to a variety of federal laws and regulations and risks associated with audits conducted under these programs. These audits may occur in years subsequent to CIGNA providing the relevant services under audit. These risks may include reimbursement claims as well as potential fines and penalties. For example, the federal government requires Medicare and Medicaid providers to file detailed cost reports for health care services provided. These reports may be audited in subsequent years. CIGNA HMOs that contract to provide community-rated coverage to participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan may be required to reimburse the federal government if, following an audit, it is determined that a federal employee group did not receive the benefit of a discount offered by a CIGNA HMO to one of the two groups closest in size to the federal employee group. See “Health Care” in Section D beginning on page 3 of this Form 10-K for additional information about CIGNA’s participation in government health-related programs.

 

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Regulations
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations (“HIPAA”) impose several different requirements on health insurers, HMOs, health plans, health care providers and clearinghouses. Health insurers and HMOs are further subject to regulations related to guaranteed issuance (for groups with 50 or fewer lives), guaranteed renewal, and portability of health insurance.
HIPAA also imposes minimum standards for health plans, health insurers, health care providers and their vendors to safeguard the privacy and security of individually identifiable or protected health information (“PHI”). In 2009, HIPAA’s privacy and security requirements were expanded by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) which enhanced penalties for HIPAA violations and required regulated entities to provide notice of breaches of unsecured PHI. CIGNA has a project team addressing the provisions of HITECH.
HIPAA also establishes rules to standardize the format and content of certain electronic transactions, including but not limited to, eligibility and claims. In 2008, federal regulations were issued requiring entities subject to HIPAA to update their transaction formats for electronic data interchange from the current HIPAA 4010 standards to new HIPAA 5010 standards. CIGNA has launched a project to migrate to the required HIPAA 5010 standards by the January 1, 2012 effective date. Regulations were also issued in 2008 requiring a conversion from the ICD-9 diagnosis and procedure code set to the ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure code set. Implementation of the HIPAA 5010 standards is necessary to support the IDC-10 code set. CIGNA has initiated a project to deliver ICD-10 capabilities by the October 1, 2013 effective date.
Antitrust Regulations
CIGNA subsidiaries are also engaged in activities that may be scrutinized under federal and state antitrust laws and regulations. These activities include the administration of strategic alliances with competitors, information sharing with competitors and provider contracting.
Anti-Money Laundering Regulations
Certain CIGNA products (“Covered Products” as defined in the Bank Secrecy Act) are subject to U.S. Department of the Treasury anti-money laundering regulations. CIGNA has implemented anti-money laundering policies designed to ensure that its Covered Products are underwritten and sold in compliance with these regulations.
Investment-Related Regulations
Depending upon their nature, CIGNA’s investment management activities are subject to U.S. federal securities laws, ERISA, and other federal and state laws governing investment related activities. In many cases, the investment management activities and investments of individual insurance companies are subject to regulation by multiple jurisdictions.
Regulatory and Legislative Developments
The business of administering and insuring employee benefit programs, particularly health care programs, is heavily regulated by federal and state laws and administrative agencies, such as state departments of insurance and the federal Departments of Labor and Justice, as well as the courts. In the growing area of consumer-driven plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts and flexible spending accounts are also regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. For information on Regulatory and Industry Developments, see page 79 in the MD&A and Note 23 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 163 of this Form 10-K.
Federal and state regulation and legislation may affect CIGNA’s operations in a variety of ways. In addition to proposals discussed above related to increased regulation of the health care industry, other proposed measures that may significantly affect CIGNA’s operations include the expansion of the government’s role in the health care arena and alternative assessments and tax increases specific to the health care insurance industry or health care insurance products as part of federal health care reform initiatives, as well as other modifications of the Medicare program, and employee benefit regulation.
The economic and competitive effects of the legislative and regulatory proposals discussed above on CIGNA’s business operations will depend upon the final form of any such legislation or regulation.

 

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K. Ratings
CIGNA and certain of its insurance subsidiaries are rated by nationally recognized rating agencies. The significance of individual ratings varies from agency to agency. However, companies that are assigned ratings at the top end of the range have, in the opinion of the rating agency, the strongest capacity for repayment of debt or payment of claims, while companies at the bottom end of the range have the weakest capacity.
Insurance ratings represent the opinions of the rating agencies on the financial strength of a company and its capacity to meet the obligations of insurance policies. The principal agencies that rate CIGNA’s insurance subsidiaries characterize their insurance rating scales as follows:
    A.M. Best Company, Inc. (“A.M. Best”), A++ to S (“Superior” to “Suspended”);
    Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”), Aaa to C (“Exceptional” to “Lowest”);
    Standard & Poor’s Corp. (“S&P”), AAA to R (“Extremely Strong” to “Regulatory Action”); and
    Fitch, Inc. (“Fitch”), AAA to D (“Exceptionally Strong” to “Order of Liquidation”).
As of February 25, 2010, the insurance financial strength ratings for CIGNA subsidiaries, CGLIC and Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) were as follows:
         
    CGLIC   LINA
    Insurance   Insurance
    Ratings(1)   Ratings(1)
 
       
A.M. Best
  A
(“Excellent,”
3rd of 16)
  A
(“Excellent,”
3rd of 16)
 
       
Moody’s
  A2
(“Good,”
6th of 21)
  A2
(“Good,”
6th of 21)
 
       
S&P
  A
(“Strong,”
6th of 21)
  (Not Rated)
 
       
Fitch
  A
(“Strong,”
6th of 24)
  A
(“Strong,”
6th of 24)
 
     
(1)   Includes the rating assigned, the agency’s characterization of the rating and the position of the rating in the agency’s rating scale (e.g., CGLIC’s rating by A.M. Best is the 3rd highest rating awarded in its scale of 16).

 

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Debt ratings are assessments of the likelihood that a company will make timely payments of principal and interest. The principal agencies that rate CIGNA’s senior debt characterize their rating scales as follows:
    Moody’s, Aaa to C (“Exceptional” to “Lowest”);
    S&P, AAA to D (“Extremely Strong” to “Default”); and
    Fitch, AAA to D (“Highest” to “Default”).
The commercial paper rating scales for those agencies are as follows:
    Moody’s, Prime-1 to Not Prime (“Superior” to “Not Prime”);
    S&P, A-1+ to D (“Extremely Strong” to “Default”); and
    Fitch, F-1+ to D (“Very Strong” to “Distressed”).
As of February 25, 2010, the debt ratings assigned to CIGNA Corporation by the following agencies were as follows:
Debt Ratings(1)
CIGNA CORPORATION
         
        Commercial
    Senior Debt   Paper
Moody’s
  Baa2
(“Adequate,”
9th of 21)
  P2
(“Strong,”
2nd of 4)
S&P
  BBB
(“Adequate,” 9th of 22)
  A2
(“Good,”
3rd of 7)
Fitch
  BBB
(“Good,”
9th of 24)
  F2
(“Moderately Strong,”
3rd of 7)
 
     
(1)   Includes the rating assigned, the agency’s characterization of the rating and the position of the rating in the applicable agency’s rating scale.
CIGNA is committed to maintaining appropriate levels of capital in its subsidiaries to support financial strength ratings that meet customers’ expectations, and to improving the earnings of the health care business. Lower ratings at the parent company level increase the cost to borrow funds. Lower ratings of CGLIC and LINA could adversely affect new sales and retention of current business.

 

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L. Miscellaneous
CIGNA and its principal subsidiaries are not dependent on business from one or a few customers. No customer accounted for 10% or more of CIGNA’s consolidated revenues in 2009. CIGNA and its principal subsidiaries are not dependent on business from one or a few brokers or agents. In addition, CIGNA’s insurance businesses are generally not committed to accept a fixed portion of the business submitted by independent brokers and agents, and generally all such business is subject to its approval and acceptance.
CIGNA had approximately 29,300, 30,300, and 26,600 employees as of December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.

 

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Item 1A.   RISK FACTORS
As a large company operating in a complex industry, CIGNA encounters a variety of risks and uncertainties including those identified in this Risk Factor discussion and elsewhere in this report. CIGNA devotes resources to developing enterprise-wide risk management processes, in addition to the risk management processes within its businesses. These factors represent risks and uncertainties that could have a material adverse effect on CIGNA’s business, liquidity, results of operations or financial condition. These risks and uncertainties are not the only ones CIGNA faces. Other risks and uncertainties that CIGNA does not know about now, or that the Company does not now think are significant and does not appropriately identify and manage, may impair its business or the trading price of its securities. The following are significant risks identified by CIGNA.
Future performance of CIGNA’s business will depend on the Company’s ability to execute on its strategic and operational initiatives effectively.
The future performance of CIGNA’s business will depend in large part on CIGNA’s ability to execute effectively and implement its growth strategy. These strategic and operational initiatives include (1) growth in targeted geographies, product lines, buying segments and distribution channels; (2) improving its strategic and financial flexibility; and (3) pursuing additional opportunities in high-growth markets with particular focus on individuals.
Successful execution of these strategic and operational initiatives depends on a number of factors including:
  differentiating CIGNA’s products and services from those of its competitors by leveraging its health advocacy capabilities and other strengths in targeted markets, geographies and buyer segments;
  developing and introducing new products or programs, because of the inherent risks and uncertainties associated with product development, particularly in response to government regulation or the increased focus on consumer directed products;
  identifying and introducing the proper mix or integration of products that will be accepted by the marketplace;
  attracting and retaining sufficient numbers of qualified employees;
  effectively managing balance sheet exposures;
  improving medical cost competitiveness in targeted markets; and
  further reducing CIGNA HealthCare’s operating expenses.
If these initiatives fail or are not executed effectively, it could harm the Company’s consolidated financial position and results of operations. For example, if not managed effectively, the plan to reduce operating expenses could cut necessary resources and the Company’s talent pool and, consequently, could have long-term effects on the business by decreasing or slowing improvements in its products and limiting its ability to retain or hire key personnel.
If CIGNA does not adequately invest in and effectively execute on improvements in its information technology infrastructure and improve its functionality, it will not be able to deliver the services required in the evolving marketplace at a competitive cost.
CIGNA’s success in executing on its consumer engagement strategy depends on the Company’s continued improvements to its information technology infrastructure and customer service offerings. The marketplace is evolving and the level of service that is acceptable to customers today will not necessarily be acceptable tomorrow. The Company must continue to invest in long-term solutions that will enable it to meet customer expectations. CIGNA’s success is dependent, in large part, on maintaining the effectiveness of existing technology systems and continuing to deliver and enhance technology systems that support the Company’s business processes in a cost-efficient and resource-efficient manner. CIGNA also must develop new systems to meet the current market standard and keep pace with continuing changes in information processing technology, evolving industry and regulatory standards and customer needs. System development projects are long term in nature, may be more costly than expected to complete and may not deliver the expected benefits upon completion.

 

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CIGNA’s business depends on its ability to properly maintain the integrity or security of its data or to strategically implement new information systems.
CIGNA’s business depends on effective information systems and the integrity and timeliness of the data it uses to run its business. CIGNA’s business strategy requires providing members and providers with Internet-enabled products and information to meet their needs. CIGNA’s ability to adequately price its products and services, establish reserves, provide effective and efficient service to its customers, and to timely and accurately report its financial results also depends significantly on the integrity of the data in its information systems. If the information CIGNA relies upon to run its businesses were found to be inaccurate or unreliable due to fraud or other error, or if CIGNA were to fail to maintain effectively its information systems and data integrity, the Company could have problems with, among other things: operational disruptions, which may impact customers, physicians and other health care providers; determining medical cost estimates and establishing appropriate pricing; retaining and attracting customers; and regulatory compliance.
If CIGNA were unable to maintain the security of any sensitive data residing on the Company’s systems, whether due to its own actions or those of any vendors, CIGNA’s reputation would be adversely affected and the Company could be exposed to litigation or other actions, fines or penalties.
If CIGNA fails to manage successfully its outsourcing projects and key vendors, CIGNA’s business could be disrupted.
CIGNA takes steps to monitor and regulate the performance of independent third parties who provide services or to whom the Company delegates selected functions. These third parties include information technology system providers, independent practice associations, call center and claim service providers and specialty service providers.
Arrangements with key vendors may make CIGNA’s operations vulnerable if third parties fail to satisfy their obligations to the Company, including their obligations to maintain and protect the security and confidentiality of the Company’s information and data, as a result of their performance, changes in their own operations, financial condition, or other matters outside of CIGNA’s control. In addition, to the extent CIGNA outsources selected services or selected functions to third parties in foreign jurisdictions, the Company could be exposed to risks inherent in conducting business outside of the United States, including international economic and political conditions, additional costs associated with complying with foreign laws and fluctuations in currency values. Further, CIGNA may not fully realize on a timely basis the anticipated economic and other benefits of the outsourcing projects or other relationships it enters into with key vendors, which could result in substantial costs or other operational or financial problems for the Company. Terminating or transitioning arrangements with key vendors could result in additional costs and a risk of operational delays, potential errors and possible control issues as a result of the termination or during the transition phase.
In 2006, CIGNA entered into an agreement with IBM pursuant to which IBM operates certain software applications and significant portions of CIGNA’s information technology infrastructure, including the provision of services relating to its call center application, enterprise content management, risk-based capital analytical infrastructure and voice and data communications network. The 2006 contract with IBM includes several service level agreements, or SLAs, related to issues such as performance and job disruption with significant financial penalties if these SLAs are not met. However, the Company may not be adequately indemnified against all possible losses through the terms and conditions of the agreement and the fees paid could be a subject of dispute between the parties. In addition, some of CIGNA’s termination rights are contingent upon payment of a fee, which may be significant. If CIGNA’s relationship with IBM is abruptly terminated, the Company’s customers may experience disruption of service.

 

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Sustained or significant deterioration in economic conditions could significantly impact the Company’s customers.
The Company is exposed to risks associated with the potential financial instability of its customers, many of which could be adversely affected by volatile conditions in the financial markets. Customers could experience cash flow problems and other financial difficulties in times of a sustained or significant deterioration in the economy. As a result, they may modify, delay or cancel plans to purchase the Company’s products, may make changes in the mix of products purchased that are unfavorable to the Company, or may be forced to reduce their workforces. Specifically, higher unemployment rates as a result of a prolonged economic downturn has lead and may continue to lead to lower enrollment in the Company’s employer group plans, lower enrollment in our non-employer individual plans and a higher number of employees opting out of CIGNA’s employer group plans. The adverse economic conditions could also cause employers to stop offering certain health care coverage as an employee benefit or elect to offer this coverage on a voluntary, employee-funded basis as a means to reduce their operating costs. In addition, the economic downturn could negatively impact the Company’s employer group renewal prospects and our ability to increase premiums and could result in cancellation of products and services by customers. This could also result in increased unemployment and an increase in the number of claims submitted. All of these developments could lead to a decrease in CIGNA’s membership levels and premium and fee revenues. Further, if customers are not successful in generating sufficient revenue or are precluded from securing financing, they may not be able to pay, or may delay payment of, accounts receivable that are owed to the Company.
A downgrade in the financial strength ratings of CIGNA’s insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect new sales and retention of current business, and a downgrade in CIGNA’s debt ratings would increase the cost of borrowed funds and affect ability to access capital.
Financial strength, claims paying ability and debt ratings by recognized rating organizations are an important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies and health benefits companies. Ratings information by nationally recognized ratings agencies is broadly disseminated and generally used throughout the industry. CIGNA believes the claims paying ability and financial strength ratings of its principal insurance subsidiaries are an important factor in marketing its products to certain of CIGNA’s customers. In addition, CIGNA Corporation’s debt ratings impact both the cost and availability of future borrowings, and accordingly, its cost of capital. Each of the rating agencies reviews CIGNA’s ratings periodically and there can be no assurance that current ratings will be maintained in the future. In addition, a downgrade of these ratings could make it more difficult to raise capital and to support business growth at CIGNA’s insurance subsidiaries.
A description of CIGNA Corporation ratings, other subsidiary ratings, as well as more information on these ratings, is included in “Ratings” in Section K beginning on page 32 of this Form 10-K.
Unfavorable claims experience related to workers’ compensation and personal accident insurance exposures in CIGNA’s Run-off Reinsurance business could result in losses.
Unfavorable claims experience related to workers’ compensation and personal accident insurance exposures in CIGNA’s Run-off
Reinsurance business is possible and could result in future losses. Further, CIGNA could have losses attributable to its inability to recover amounts from retrocessionaires or ceding companies either due to disputes with the retrocessionaires or ceding companies or their financial condition. If CIGNA’s reserves for amounts recoverable from retrocessionaires or ceding companies, as well as reserves associated with underlying reinsurance exposures are insufficient, it could result in losses.

 

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CIGNA’s equity hedge program for its guaranteed minimum death benefits contracts could fail to reduce the risk of stock market declines.
As part of its Run-off Reinsurance business, CIGNA reinsured a guaranteed minimum death benefit under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. CIGNA maintains a hedge program to reduce equity market risks related to these contracts by selling domestic and foreign-denominated exchange-traded futures contracts. The purpose of this program is to reduce the adverse effects of potential future domestic and international stock market declines on CIGNA’s liabilities for these contracts. Under the program, increases in liabilities under the annuity contracts from a declining equity market are offset by gains on the futures contracts. However, the program will not perfectly offset the change in the liability in part because the market does not offer futures contracts that exactly match the diverse mix of equity fund investments held by contractholders. The impact of this mismatch may be higher in periods of significant volatility and may result in higher losses to the Company. In addition, the number of futures contracts used in the program is adjusted only when certain tolerances are exceeded and in periods of highly volatile equity markets when actual volatility exceeds the expected volatility assumed in the liability calculation, losses will result. Further, CIGNA could have difficulty in entering into appropriate futures contracts. See “Run-off Reinsurance” in Section G beginning on page 20 of this Form 10-K for more information on the program.
Actual experience could differ significantly from CIGNA’s assumptions used in estimating CIGNA’s liabilities for reinsurance contracts covering guaranteed minimum death benefits or minimum income benefits.
CIGNA estimates reserves for guaranteed minimum death benefit and minimum income benefit exposures based on assumptions regarding lapse, partial surrender, mortality, interest rates, volatility, reinsurance recoverables, and, for minimum income benefit exposures, annuity income election rates. These estimates are currently based on CIGNA’s experience and future expectations. CIGNA monitors actual experience to update these reserve estimates as necessary. CIGNA regularly evaluates the assumptions used in establishing reserves and changes its estimates if actual experience or other evidence suggests that earlier assumptions should be revised. In addition, the Company could have losses attributable to its inability to recover amounts from retrocessionaires. See Notes 7 and 11 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on pages 117 and 132, respectively of this Form 10-K, for more information on assumptions used for the Company’s guaranteed minimum death benefit and minimum income benefit exposures.
Significant stock market declines could result in larger net liabilities for guaranteed minimum death benefit contracts or for guaranteed minimum income benefit contracts, the recognition of additional pension obligations and increased funding for those obligations, and increased pension plan expenses.
The Company calculates a provision for expected future partial surrenders as part of the liability for guaranteed minimum death benefit contracts. As equity markets decline, the amount of guaranteed death benefit exposure increases and the equity hedge program is designed to offset the corresponding change in the liability. If a contractholder withdraws substantially all of its mutual fund investments, the liability increases reflecting the lower assumed future premiums, the lower likelihood of lapsation, and the lower likelihood of account values recovering sufficiently to reduce death benefit exposure in future periods. These effects are not covered by the Company’s equity hedge program. Thus if equity markets decline, the provision for expected future partial surrenders increases and there is no corresponding offset from the hedge program. As equity markets decline, the claim amounts that the Company expects to pay out for the guaranteed minimum income benefit business increases resulting in increased net liabilities and related losses.
CIGNA currently has unfunded obligations in its frozen pension plan. A significant decline in the value of the plan’s equity and fixed income investments or unfavorable changes in applicable laws or regulations could materially change the timing and amount of required plan funding, which could increase CIGNA’s expenses and reduce the cash available to CIGNA, including its subsidiaries. See Note 10 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 126 of this Form 10-K for more information on the Company’s obligations under the pension plan.

 

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Significant changes in market interest rates affect the value of CIGNA’s financial instruments that promise a fixed return or benefit and the value of particular assets and liabilities.
As an insurer, CIGNA has substantial investment assets that support insurance and contractholder deposit liabilities. Generally low levels of interest rates on investments, such as those experienced in United States financial markets during recent years, have negatively impacted the level of investment income earned by the Company in recent periods, and such lower levels of investment income would continue if these lower interest rates were to continue.
Substantially all of the Company’s investment assets are in fixed interest-yielding debt securities of varying maturities, fixed redeemable preferred securities and commercial mortgage loans. The value of these investment assets can fluctuate significantly with changes in market conditions. A rise in interest rates could reduce the value of the Company’s investment portfolio and increase interest expense if CIGNA were to access its available lines of credit.
The Company is also exposed to interest rate and equity risk based upon the discount rate and expected long-term rate of return assumptions associated with the Company’s pension and other post-retirement obligations. Sustained declines in interest rates could have an adverse impact on the funded status of the Company’s pension plans and the Company’s re-investment yield on new investments.
Changes in interest rates may also impact the discount rate and expected long-term rate of return assumptions associated with the Company’s guaranteed minimum death benefit liabilities. Significant, sustained declines in interest rates could cause the Company to reduce these long-term assumptions, resulting in increased liabilities.
In addition, changes in interest rates impact the assumed market returns and the discount rate used in the fair value calculations for the Company’s liabilities for guaranteed minimum income benefits. Significant interest rate declines could significantly increase the Company’s liabilities for these contracts.
As the 7-year Treasury rate (claim interest rate) declines, the claim amounts that the Company expects to pay out for the guaranteed minimum income benefit business increases. For a subset of the business, there is a contractually guaranteed floor of 3% for the claim interest rate. Significant interest rate declines could significantly increase the Company’s net liabilities for guaranteed minimum income benefit contracts because of increased exposures.
New accounting pronouncements or guidance could require CIGNA to change the way in which it accounts for operations.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory bodies may issue new accounting standards or pronouncements, or changes in the interpretation of existing standards or pronouncements, from time to time, which could have a significant effect on CIGNA’s reported results of operations and financial condition.
CIGNA faces risks related to litigation and regulatory investigations.
CIGNA is routinely involved in numerous claims, lawsuits, regulatory audits, investigations and other legal matters arising in the ordinary course of the business of administering and insuring employee benefit programs. Such legal matters include benefit claims, breach of contract actions, tort claims, and disputes regarding reinsurance arrangements. In addition, CIGNA incurs and likely will continue to incur liability for claims related to its health care business, such as failure to pay for or provide health care, poor outcomes for care delivered or arranged, provider disputes, including disputes over compensation, and claims related to self-funded business. Also, there are currently, and may be in the future, attempts to bring class action lawsuits against the industry.
Court decisions and legislative activity may increase CIGNA’s exposure for any of these types of claims. In some cases, substantial non-economic or punitive damages may be sought. CIGNA currently has insurance coverage for some of these potential liabilities. Other potential liabilities may not be covered by insurance, insurers may dispute coverage or the amount of insurance may not be sufficient to cover the entire damages awarded. In addition, certain types of damages, such as punitive damages, may not be covered by insurance, and insurance coverage for all or certain forms of liability may become unavailable or prohibitively expensive in the future. It is possible that the resolution of one or more of the legal matters and claims described in this risk factor could result in losses material to CIGNA’s consolidated results of operations, liquidity or financial condition.

 

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A description of material legal actions and other legal matters in which CIGNA is currently involved is included under “Legal Proceedings” in Item 3 beginning on page 44, Note 23 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on page 163 of this Form 10-K and “Regulation” in Section J beginning on page 28. The outcome of litigation and other legal matters is always uncertain, and outcomes that are not justified by the evidence or existing law can occur. CIGNA believes that it has valid defenses to the legal matters pending against it and is defending itself vigorously.
CIGNA’s business is subject to substantial government regulation, which, along with new regulation, could increase its costs of doing business and could adversely affect its profitability.
CIGNA’s business is regulated at the international, federal, state and local levels. The laws and rules governing CIGNA’s business and interpretations of those laws and rules are subject to frequent change. Broad latitude is given to the agencies administering those regulations. Existing or future laws and rules could force CIGNA to change how it does business, restrict revenue and enrollment growth, increase health care, technology and administrative costs including pension costs and capital requirements, take other actions such as changing its reserve levels with respect to certain reinsurance contracts, change business practices in disability payments and increase CIGNA’s liability in federal and state courts for coverage determinations, contract interpretation and other actions.
CIGNA must comply with the various regulations applicable to its business. In addition, CIGNA must obtain and maintain regulatory approvals to market many of its products, to increase prices for certain regulated products and to consummate some of its acquisitions and divestitures. Delays in obtaining or failure to obtain or maintain these approvals could reduce the Company’s revenue or increase its costs.
For further information on regulatory matters relating to CIGNA, see “Regulation” in Section J beginning on page 28 and “Legal Proceedings” in Item 3 beginning on page 44 of this Form 10-K.
CIGNA operates a pharmacy benefit management business, primary care clinics and a staff model HMO, which are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, in addition to those CIGNA faces with its health care business.
CIGNA’s pharmacy benefit management business is subject to federal and state regulation, including federal and state anti-remuneration laws, ERISA, HIPAA and laws related to the operation of Internet and mail-service pharmacies.
The Company’s pharmacy benefit management business would also be adversely affected by an inability to contract on favorable terms with pharmaceutical manufacturers and could suffer claims and reputational harm in connection with purported errors by CIGNA’s mail order or retail pharmacy businesses. Disruptions at any of the Company’s pharmacy business facilities due to failure of technology or any other failure or disruption to these systems or to the infrastructure due to fire, electrical outage, natural disaster, acts of terrorism or some other catastrophic event could reduce CIGNA’s ability to process and dispense prescriptions and provide products and services to customers.
The Company employs physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other health care professionals at onsite low acuity and primary care clinics it operates for the Company’s customers (as well as certain clinics for Company employees). The Company also owns and operates medical facilities in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area, including multispecialty health care centers, outpatient surgery and urgent care centers, low acuity clinics, laboratory, pharmacy and other operations that employ primary care as well as specialty care physicians and other types of health care professionals. As a direct employer of health care professionals and as an operator of primary and low-acuity care clinics and other types of medical facilities, the Company is subject to liability for negligent acts, omissions, or injuries occurring at one of its clinics or caused by one of its employees. Even if any claims brought against the Company were unsuccessful or without merit, it would have to defend against such claims. The defense of any such actions may be time-consuming and costly, and may distract management’s attention. As a result, CIGNA may incur significant expenses and the Company’s financial results could be adversely affected.

 

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CIGNA faces competitive pressure, particularly price competition, which could result in premiums which are insufficient to cover the cost of the healthcare services delivered to its members and inadequate medical claims reserves.
While health plans compete on the basis of many factors, including service quality of clinical resources, claims administration services and medical management programs, and quality and sufficiency of provider networks, CIGNA expects that price will continue to be a significant basis of competition. CIGNA’s customer contracts are subject to negotiation as customers seek to contain their costs, and customers may elect to reduce benefits in order to constrain increases in their benefit costs. Such an election may result in lower premiums for the Company’s products, although it may also reduce CIGNA’s costs. Alternatively, the Company’s customers may purchase different types of products that are less profitable, or move to a competitor to obtain more favorable premiums.
In addition, significant merger and acquisition activity has occurred in the health care industry giving rise to speculation and uncertainty regarding the status of companies, which potentially can affect marketing efforts and public perception. Consolidation may make it more difficult for the Company to retain or increase customers, to improve the terms on which CIGNA does business with its suppliers, or to maintain its competitive position or increase profitability. Factors such as business consolidations, strategic alliances, legislative reform and marketing practices create pressure to contain premium price increases, despite increasing medical costs. For example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act gives banks and other financial institutions the ability to affiliate with insurance companies, which may lead to new competitors with significant financial resources in the insurance and health benefits fields.
If CIGNA does not compete effectively in its markets, if CIGNA sets rates too high in highly competitive markets to keep or increase its market share, if membership does not increase as it expects, or if it declines, or if CIGNA loses accounts with favorable medical cost experience while retaining or increasing membership in accounts with unfavorable medical cost experience, CIGNA’s product margins and growth could be adversely affected.
CIGNA’s profitability depends, in part, on its ability to accurately predict and control future health care costs through underwriting criteria, provider contracting, utilization management and product design. Premiums in the health care business are generally fixed for one-year periods. Accordingly, future cost increases in excess of medical cost projections reflected in pricing cannot generally be recovered in the current contract year through higher premiums. Although CIGNA bases the premiums it charges on its estimate of future health care costs over the fixed premium period, actual costs may exceed what was estimated and reflected in premiums. Factors that may cause actual costs to exceed premiums include: medical cost inflation; higher than expected utilization of medical services; the introduction of new or costly treatments and technology; and membership mix.
CIGNA records medical claims reserves for estimated future payments. The Company continually reviews estimates of future payments relating to medical claims costs for services incurred in the current and prior periods and makes necessary adjustments to its reserves. However, actual health care costs may exceed what was estimated.
Public perception of CIGNA’s products and practices as well as of the health benefits industry, if negative, could reduce enrollment in CIGNA’s health benefits programs.
The health care industry in general, and CIGNA specifically, are subject to negative publicity, which can arise either from perceptions regarding the industry or CIGNA’s business practices or products. This risk may be increased as CIGNA offers new products, such as products with limited benefits or an integrated line of products targeted at market segments beyond those in which CIGNA traditionally has operated. Negative publicity may adversely affect the CIGNA brand and its ability to market its products and services, which could reduce the number of enrollees in CIGNA’s health benefits programs.
Large-scale public health epidemics, bio-terrorist activity, natural disasters or other extreme events could cause CIGNA’s covered medical and disability expenses, pharmacy costs and mortality experience to rise significantly, and in severe circumstances, could cause operational disruption.
If widespread public health epidemics such as an influenza pandemic, bio-terrorist or other attack, or catastrophic natural disaster were to occur, CIGNA’s covered medical and disability expenses, pharmacy costs and mortality experience could rise significantly, depending on the government’s actions and the responsiveness of public health agencies and insurers. In addition, depending on the severity of the situation, a widespread outbreak could curtail economic activity in general, and CIGNA’s operations in particular, which could result in operational and financial disruption to CIGNA. Such disruption could, among other things, impact the timeliness of claims and revenue.

 

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CIGNA’s business depends on the uninterrupted operation of its systems and business functions, including information technology and other business systems.
CIGNA’s business is highly dependent upon its ability to perform, in an efficient and uninterrupted fashion, its necessary business functions, such as: claims processing and payment; internet support and customer call centers; and the processing of new and renewal business. A power outage, pandemic, or failure of one or more of information technology, telecommunications or other systems could cause slower system response times resulting in claims not being processed as quickly as clients desire, decreased levels of client service and client satisfaction, and harm to CIGNA’s reputation. In addition, because CIGNA’s information technology and telecommunications systems interface with and depend on third-party systems, CIGNA could experience service denials if demand for such service exceeds capacity or a third-party system fails or experiences an interruption. If sustained or repeated, such a business interruption, systems failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of CIGNA’s ability to pay claims in a timely manner, provide customer service, write and process new and renewal business, or perform other necessary corporate functions. This could result in a materially adverse effect on CIGNA’s business results and liquidity.
A security breach of CIGNA’s computer systems could also interrupt or damage CIGNA’s operations or harm CIGNA’s reputation. In addition, CIGNA could be subject to liability if sensitive customer information is misappropriated from CIGNA’s computer systems. These systems may be vulnerable to physical break-ins, computer viruses, programming errors, attacks by third parties or similar disruptive problems. Any publicized compromise of security could result in a loss of customers or a reduction in the growth of customers, increased operating expenses, financial losses, additional litigation or other claims, which could have a material adverse effect on CIGNA’s business.
CIGNA is focused on further developing its business continuity program to address the continuation of core business operations. While CIGNA continues to test and assess its business continuity program to satisfy the needs of CIGNA’s core business operations and addresses multiple business interruption events, there is no assurance that core business operations could be performed upon the occurrence of such an event.
Global market, economic and geopolitical conditions may cause fluctuations in equity market prices, interest rates and credit spreads which could impact the Company’s ability to raise or deploy capital as well as affect the Company’s overall liquidity.
If the capital markets and credit market experience extreme volatility and disruption, there could be downward pressure on stock prices and credit capacity for certain issuers without regard to those issuers’ underlying financial strength. Extreme disruption in the credit markets could adversely impact the Company’s availability and cost of credit in the future. In addition, unpredictable or unstable market conditions could result in reduced opportunities to find suitable opportunities to raise capital.
CIGNA is subject to potential changes in the political environment, which could adversely affect the markets for its products.
Policy changes on the local, state and federal level, such as the expansion of the government’s role in the health care arena and alternative assessments and tax increases specific to the health care insurance industry or health care insurance products as part of federal health care reform initiatives, could fundamentally change the dynamics of CIGNA’s industry.
CIGNA faces risks in successfully managing the integration of Great-West Healthcare (or any other acquisition).
CIGNA acquired Great-West Healthcare with the expectation that the acquisition will result in various benefits, including, among others, a broader distribution and provider network in certain geographic areas, an expanded range of health benefits and products, cost savings, increased profitability of the acquired business by improving its total medical cost position, and achievement of operating efficiencies. Achieving the anticipated benefits of the acquisition is subject to a number of uncertainties, including whether CIGNA integrates Great-West Healthcare in an efficient and effective manner, and general competitive factors in the marketplace. Failure to achieve these anticipated benefits could limit CIGNA’s ability to grow membership, particularly in the “Select” market, result in increased costs, decreases in the amount of expected revenues and diversion of management’s time and energy.
CIGNA faces intense competition to attract and retain key people.
CIGNA would be adversely impacted if it failed to attract additional key people and retain current key people, as this could result in the inability to effectively execute the Company’s key initiatives and business strategy.

 

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CIGNA would be adversely affected if its prevention, detection or control systems fail to detect and implement required changes to maintain regulatory compliance or prevent fraud.
Failure of CIGNA’s prevention, detection or control systems related to regulatory compliance and compliance with CIGNA’s internal policies, including data systems security and unethical conduct by managers and employees, could adversely affect CIGNA’s reputation and also expose it to litigation and other proceedings, fines and penalties. Federal and state governments have made investigating and prosecuting health care and other insurance fraud and abuse a priority. Fraud and abuse prohibitions encompass a wide range of activities, including kickbacks for referral of members, billing for unnecessary medical services, improper marketing, and violations of patient privacy rights. The regulations and contractual requirements applicable to us and other participants are complex and subject to change. Although the Company believes its compliance efforts are adequate, ongoing vigorous law enforcement and the highly technical regulatory scheme mean that its compliance efforts in this area will continue to require significant resources.
In addition, provider or member fraud that is not prevented or detected could impact CIGNA’s medical costs or those of its self-insured customers. Further, during an economic downturn, CIGNA’s segments, including HealthCare, Disability and Life and International, may see increased fraudulent claims volume which may lead to additional cost because of an increase in disputed claims and litigation.
The Company’s international operations face political, legal, operational, regulatory, economic and other risks that present unique challenges and could negatively affect those operations or our long-term growth.
The Company’s international operations face political, legal, operational, regulatory, economic and other risks, including government intervention and censorship that the Company does not face in its domestic operations. CIGNA International faces the risk of discriminatory regulation, nationalization or expropriation of assets, price controls or other pricing issues and exchange controls or other restrictions that prevent it from transferring funds from these operations out of the countries in which it operates or converting local currencies that CIGNA International holds into U.S. dollars or other currencies. Additionally, foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations may have an impact on the future costs or on future sales and cash flows from the Company’s international operations, and any measures that it may implement to reduce the effect of volatile currencies and other risks of its international operations may not be effective. Some of CIGNA’s foreign insurance operations are, and are likely to continue to be, in emerging markets where these risks are heightened. In addition, CIGNA International relies on local sales forces for some of its operations in these countries and may encounter labor problems and less flexible employee relationships which can be difficult and expensive to terminate. In some countries, CIGNA International voluntarily operates or is required to operate with local business partners with the resulting risk of managing partner relationships to the business objectives.
The Company is currently planning to expand its international operations in markets where it currently operates and in targeted new markets. This may require considerable management time before any significant revenues and earnings are generated.
International operations also require the Company to devote significant management resources to implement its controls and systems in new markets, to comply with the U.S. anti-bribery and anti-corruption as well as anti-money laundering provisions and similar laws in local jurisdictions and to overcome logistical and other challenges based on differing languages, cultures and time zones.

 

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Item 1B.   UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
Item 2.   PROPERTIES
CIGNA’s headquarters, including staff support operations, along with CIGNA Disability and Life Insurance, the domestic office of CIGNA International, and portions of CIGNA HealthCare, are located in approximately 460,000 square feet of leased office space at Two Liberty Place, 1601 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. CIGNA HealthCare is located in approximately 825,000 square feet of owned office space in the Wilde Building, located at 900 Cottage Grove Road, Bloomfield, Connecticut. In addition, CIGNA owns or leases office buildings, or parts thereof, throughout the United States and in other countries. CIGNA believes its properties are adequate and suitable for its business as presently conducted. For additional information concerning leases and property, see Notes 2 and 21 to CIGNA’s Consolidated Financial Statements beginning on pages 103 and 159 of this Form 10-K. This paragraph does not include information on investment properties.
Item 3.   LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The information contained under “Litigation and Other Legal Matters” in Note 23 to CIGNA’s 2009 Financial Statements which begins on page 163 of this Form 10-K, is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 4.   SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS
None.

 

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Executive Officers of the Registrant
All officers are elected to serve for a one-year term or until their successors are elected. Principal occupations and employment during the past five years are listed below.
WILLIAM L. ATWELL, 59, President of CIGNA International beginning September 2008; Managing Director of Atwell and Associates, LLC from January 2006 until August 2008; and Executive Vice President of The Charles Schwab Corporation from August 2000 to December 2005.
DAVID M. CORDANI, 44, Chief Executive Officer of CIGNA beginning December 2009; President of CIGNA beginning June 2008; Chief Operating Officer of CIGNA from June 2008 until December 2009; President, CIGNA HealthCare from July 2005 until June 2008; Senior Vice President, Customer Segments & Marketing, CIGNA HealthCare from July 2004 until July 2005; Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, CIGNA HealthCare, from September 2002 until July 2004; and a Director of CIGNA since October 2009.
ANNMARIE T. HAGAN, 49, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CIGNA beginning May 2009; Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller of CIGNA from July 2008 until May 2009; and Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of CIGNA from March 2003 until July 2008.
MATTHEW G. MANDERS, 48, President, CIGNA, US Service, Clinical and Specialty beginning January 2010; President, CIGNA HealthCare, Total Health, Productivity, Network & Middle Market from June 2009 until January 2010; Customer Segments from July 2006 until June 2009; and President, CIGNA HealthCare, Middle Market Segment from August 2004 until July 2006.
JOHN M. MURABITO, 51, Executive Vice President of CIGNA beginning August 2003, with responsibility for Human Resources and Services.
CAROL ANN PETREN, 57, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of CIGNA beginning May 2006, and Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of MCI from August 2003 until March 2006.
MICHAEL WOELLER, 57, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of CIGNA beginning October 2007; Vice Chairman and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce from April 2000 until October 2007.

 

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PART II
Item 5.   MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The information under the caption “Quarterly Financial Data—Stock and Dividend Data” appears on page 169 and the number of shareholders of record as of December 31, 2009 appears under the caption “Highlights” on page 47 of this Form 10-K. CIGNA’s common stock is listed with, and trades on, the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CI.”
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information about CIGNA’s share repurchase activity for the quarter ended December 31, 2009:
                                 
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities  
                            Approximate dollar value of  
    Total # of             Total # of shares     shares that may yet be  
    shares             purchased     purchased  
    purchased     Average price     as part of publicly     as part of publicly announced  
Period   (1)     paid per share     announced program (2)     program (3)  
October 1-31, 2009
    220     $ 28.83       0     $ 448,919,605  
November 1-30, 2009
    1,879     $ 30.38       0     $ 448,919,605  
December 1-31, 2009
    959     $ 32.91       0     $ 448,919,605  
 
                       
Total
    3,058     $ 31.06       0       N/A  
 
                         
     
(1)   Includes shares tendered by employees as payment of taxes withheld on the exercise of stock options and the vesting of restricted stock granted under the Company’s equity compensation plans. Employees tendered 220 shares in October, 1,879 shares in November, and 959 shares in December.
 
(2)   CIGNA has had a repurchase program for many years, and has had varying levels of repurchase authority and activity under this program. The program has no expiration date. CIGNA suspends activity under this program from time to time, generally without public announcement. Remaining authorization under the program was $449 million as of December 31, 2009 and February 25, 2010.
 
(3)   Approximate dollar value of shares is as of the last date of the applicable month.

 

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Item 6.   SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Highlights
                                         
(Dollars in millions, except per share amounts)   2009     2008     2007     2006     2005  
Revenues
                                       
Premiums and fees and other revenues
  $ 16,161     $ 17,004     $ 15,376     $ 13,987     $ 14,449  
Net investment income
    1,014       1,063       1,114       1,195       1,358  
Mail order pharmacy revenues
    1,282       1,204       1,118       1,145       883  
Realized investment gains (losses)
    (43 )     (170 )     16       219       (6 )
 
                             
Total revenues
  $ 18,414     $ 19,101     $ 17,624     $ 16,546     $ 16,684  
 
                             
Results of Operations:
                                       
Health Care
  $ 731     $ 664     $ 679     $ 653     $ 688  
Disability and Life
    284       273       254       226       227  
International
    183       182       176       138       109  
Run-off Reinsurance
    185       (646 )     (11 )     (14 )     (64 )
Other Operations
    86       87       109       106       339  
Corporate
    (142 )     (162 )     (97 )     (95 )     (12 )
Realized investment gains (losses), net of taxes and noncontrolling interest
    (26 )     (110 )     10       145       (11 )
 
                             
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations
    1,301       288       1,120       1,159       1,276  
Income from continuing operations attributable to noncontrolling interest
    3       2       3             1  
 
                             
Income from continuing operations
    1,304       290       1,123       1,159       1,277  
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes
    1       4       (5 )     (4 )     349  
 
                             
Net income
  $ 1,305     $ 294     $ 1,118     $ 1,155     $ 1,626  
 
                             
 
                                       
Shareholders’ income per share from continuing operations:
                                       
Basic
  $ 4.75     $ 1.04     $ 3.91     $ 3.46     $ 3.30  
Diluted
  $ 4.73     $ 1.03     $ 3.86     $ 3.43     $ 3.26  
Shareholders’ net income per share:
                                       
Basic
  $ 4.75     $ 1.05     $ 3.89     $ 3.45     $ 4.20  
Diluted
  $ 4.73     $ 1.05     $ 3.84     $ 3.42     $ 4.15  
Common dividends declared per share
  $ 0.04     $ 0.04     $ 0.04     $ 0.03     $ 0.03  
Total assets
  $ 43,013     $ 41,406     $ 40,065     $ 42,399     $ 44,893  
Long-term debt
  $ 2,436     $ 2,090     $ 1,790     $ 1,294     $ 1,338  
Shareholders’ equity
  $ 5,417     $ 3,592     $ 4,748     $ 4,330     $ 5,360  
Per share
  $ 19.75     $ 13.25     $ 16.98     $ 14.63     $ 14.74  
Common shares outstanding (in thousands)
    274,257       271,036       279,588       98,654       121,191  
Shareholders of record
    8,888       9,014       8,696       9,117       9,440  
Employees
    29,300       30,300       26,600       27,100       28,000  
Effective January 1, 2009, the Company adopted the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) updated earnings per share guidance. Prior year amounts have been restated. See Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Effective January 1, 2009, the Company adopted the FASB’s updated guidance on accounting for noncontrolling interests. Prior years’ net income, income from continuing operations, and revenues have been restated. See Note 2(B) to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
On April 1, 2008, the Company acquired the Healthcare division of Great-West Life and Annuity, Inc. For additional information, see the Health Care section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis beginning on page 62 of this Form 10-K.
In 2008, the Company recorded significant charges related to the guaranteed minimum income benefits and guaranteed minimum death benefits businesses as well as an after-tax litigation charge of $52 million in Corporate related to the CIGNA pension plan. For additional information, see the Run-off Reinsurance section of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis beginning on page 73 and Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
During 2007, CIGNA completed a three-for-one stock split of CIGNA’s common shares. Per share figures for 2006 and 2005 reflect the stock split.
Pro forma common shares outstanding, calculated as if the stock split had occurred at the beginning of the prior periods, were as follows: 295,963 in 2006 and 363,573 in 2005.

 

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Item 7.   MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
INDEX
         
    48  
 
       
    52  
 
       
    55  
 
       
       
 
       
    62  
 
       
    69  
 
       
    71  
 
       
    73  
 
       
    77  
 
       
    78  
 
       
    78  
 
       
    79  
 
       
    80  
 
       
    87  
 
       
    93  
 
       
    95  
INTRODUCTION
In this filing and in other marketplace communications, CIGNA Corporation and its subsidiaries (the “Company”) make certain forward-looking statements relating to the Company’s financial condition and results of operations, as well as to trends and assumptions that may affect the Company. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified through the use of predictive words (e.g., “Outlook for 2010”). Actual results may differ from the Company’s predictions. Some factors that could cause results to differ are discussed throughout Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”), including in the Cautionary Statement beginning on page 95 of this Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements contained in this filing represent management’s estimate as of the date of this filing. Management does not assume any obligation to update these estimates.
Unless otherwise indicated, financial information in the MD&A is presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). Certain reclassifications have been made to prior period amounts to conform to the presentation of 2009 amounts. In addition, certain amounts have been restated as a result of the adoption of new accounting pronouncements. See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Overview
The Company constitutes one of the largest investor-owned health service organizations in the United States. Its subsidiaries are major providers of health care and related benefits, the majority of which are offered through the workplace. In addition, the Company has an international operation that offers life, accident and supplemental health insurance products as well as international health care products and services to businesses and individuals in selected markets. The Company also has certain inactive businesses, including a Run-off Reinsurance segment.

 

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Ongoing Operations
The Company’s ability to increase revenue, shareholders’ net income and operating cash flows from ongoing operations is directly related to progress on the execution of its strategic initiatives, the success of which is measured by certain key factors, including the Company’s ability to:
  profitably price products and services at competitive levels that reflect emerging experience;
  maintain and grow its customer base;
  cross sell its various health and related benefit products;
  invest available cash at attractive rates of return for appropriate durations;
  reduce other operating expenses in the Health Care segment; and
  effectively deploy capital.
Strategy
As a global health service organization, CIGNA’s mission remains focused on helping the people it serves improve their health, well-being and sense of security. CIGNA’s long-term growth strategy is based on: (1) growth in targeted geographies, product lines, buying segments and distribution channels; (2) improving its strategic and financial flexibility; and (3) pursuing additional opportunities in high-growth markets with particular focus on individuals.
CIGNA expects to focus on the following areas it believes represent the markets or areas with the most potential for profitable growth:
  In the Health Care segment, the Company is concentrating on: (1) further enhancing its geographic focus in the middle market in order to create geographic density; (2) growing the “Select” market, which generally includes employers with more than 50 but fewer than 250 employees, by leveraging the Company’s customer knowledge, differentiated service model, product portfolio and distribution model; and (3) engaging those national account employers who share and will benefit from the Company’s value proposition of using health advocacy and employee engagement to increase productivity, performance and the health outcomes of their employees.
  In the Disability and Life segment, CIGNA’s strategy is to grow its Disability business by fully leveraging the key components of its industry-leading disability management model to reduce medical costs for its clients and return their employees to work sooner through: (1) early claim notification and outreach, (2) a full suite of clinical and return-to-work resources, and (3) specialized case management services.
  In the International segment, the Company is targeting growth through: (1) product and channel expansion in its life, accident and health business in key Asian geographies, (2) the introduction of new expatriate benefits products, and (3) further geographic expansion.
The Company plans to improve its strategic and financial flexibility by driving further reductions in its Health Care operating expenses, improving its medical cost competitiveness in targeted markets and effectively managing balance sheet exposures.
Also, in connection with CIGNA’s long-term business strategy, the Company remains committed to health advocacy as a means of creating sustainable solutions for employers, improving the health of the individuals that the Company serves, and lowering the costs of health care for all constituencies.

 

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Run-off Operations
Effectively managing the various exposures of its run-off operations is important to the Company’s ongoing profitability, operating cash flows and available capital. The results are influenced by a range of economic factors, especially movements in equity markets and interest rates. In order to substantially reduce the impact of equity market movements on the liability for guaranteed minimum death benefits (“GMDB”, also known as “VADBe”), the Company operates an equity hedge program. The Company actively monitors the performance of the hedge program, and evaluates the cost/benefit of hedging other risks. Results are also influenced by behavioral factors, including future partial surrender election rates for GMDB contracts, annuity election rates for guaranteed minimum income benefits (“GMIB”) contracts, annuitant lapse rates, as well as the collection of amounts recoverable from retrocessionaires. The Company actively studies policyholder behavior experience and adjusts future expectations based on the results of the studies, as warranted. The Company also performs regular audits of ceding companies to ensure that premiums received and claims paid properly reflect the underlying risks, and to maximize the probability of subsequent collection of claims from retrocessionaires. Finally, the Company monitors the financial strength and credit standing of the retrocessionaires and establishes or collects collateral when warranted.
Summary
The Company’s overall results are influenced by a range of economic and other factors, especially:
  cost trends and inflation for medical and related services;
  utilization patterns of medical and other services;
  employment levels;
  the tort liability system;
  developments in the political environment both domestically and internationally, including efforts to reform the U.S. health care system;
  interest rates, equity market returns, foreign currency fluctuations and credit market volatility, including the availability and cost of credit in the future; and
  federal, state and international regulation.
The Company regularly monitors the trends impacting operating results from the above mentioned key factors to appropriately respond to economic and other factors affecting its operations. The Company’s ability to achieve its financial objectives is dependent upon its ability to effectively execute on its strategy and to appropriately respond to emerging economic, industry and company-specific trends. See the Health Care section of the MD&A beginning on page 62 of this Form 10-K for further discussion on the Company’s plans to execute on its strategic initiatives.
Acquisition of Great-West Healthcare
On April 1, 2008, the Company acquired the Healthcare division of Great-West Life and Annuity, Inc. (“Great-West Healthcare” or the “acquired business”). See Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

 

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Initiatives to Lower Operating Expenses
As part of its strategy, the Company has undertaken several initiatives to realign its organization and consolidate support functions in an effort to increase efficiency and responsiveness to customers and to reduce costs.
During 2008 and 2009, the Company conducted a comprehensive review to reduce the operating expenses of its ongoing businesses (“cost reduction program”). As a result, the Company recognized severance-related and real estate charges in other operating expenses.
Severance charges in 2008 and 2009 resulted from reductions of approximately 2,350 positions in the Company’s workforce.
Cost reduction activity for 2008 and 2009 was as follows:
                         
Pre-tax (In millions)   Severance     Real estate     Total  
Fourth quarter 2008 charge (balance carried to January 1, 2009)
  $ 44     $ 11     $ 55  
 
                 
Second quarter
    14             14  
Third quarter
    10             10  
Fourth quarter
    20             20  
 
                 
Subtotal — 2009 charges
    44             44  
Less: Payments
    55       3       58  
 
                 
Balance, December 31, 2009
  $ 33     $ 8     $ 41  
 
                 
The Health Care segment recorded $37 million pre-tax ($24 million after-tax) of the 2009 charges and $44 million pre-tax ($27 million after-tax) of the 2008 charge. The remainder of the 2009 and 2008 charges were reported as follows: Disability and Life: $5 million pre-tax ($4 million after-tax) in 2009 and $3 million pre-tax ($2 million after-tax) in 2008; and International: $2 million pre-tax ($1 million after-tax) in 2009 and $8 million pre-tax ($6 million after-tax) in 2008.
Substantially all severance is expected to be paid by the end of 2010. Upon completion of the job eliminations, the Company expects annualized after-tax savings from this cost reduction program to be approximately $130 million in 2011 and beyond. A portion of the savings was realized in 2009 while most is expected to be realized in 2010.

 

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CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The Company measures the financial results of its segments using “segment earnings (loss)”, which is defined as shareholders’ income (loss) from continuing operations before after-tax realized investment results. Adjusted income from operations is defined as consolidated segment earnings (loss) excluding special items (defined below) and the results of the GMIB business. Adjusted income from operations is another measure of profitability used by the Company’s management because it presents the underlying results of operations of the Company’s businesses and permits analysis of trends in underlying revenue, expenses and shareholders’ net income. This measure is not determined in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as a substitute for the most directly comparable GAAP measure, which is shareholders’ income from continuing operations.
Summarized below is a reconciliation between shareholders’ income from continuing operations and adjusted income from operations.
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Premiums and fees
  $ 16,041     $ 16,253     $ 15,008  
Net investment income
    1,014       1,063       1,114  
Mail order pharmacy revenues
    1,282       1,204       1,118  
Other revenues
    120       751       368  
Realized investment gains (losses)
    (43 )     (170 )     16  
 
                 
Total revenues
    18,414       19,101       17,624  
Benefits and expenses
    16,516       18,719       15,990  
 
                 
Income from continuing operations before taxes
    1,898       382       1,634  
Income taxes
    594       92       511  
 
                 
Income from continuing operations
    1,304       290       1,123  
Less: income from continuing operations attributable to noncontrolling interest
    3       2       3  
 
                 
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations
    1,301       288       1,120  
Less: realized investment gains (losses), net of taxes
    (26 )     (110 )     10  
 
                 
Segment earnings
    1,327       398       1,110  
Less: adjustments to reconcile to adjusted income from operations:
                       
Results of GMIB business (after-tax):
                       
Charge on adoption of fair value measurements for GMIB contracts
          (131 )      
Results of GMIB business excluding charge on adoption
    209       (306 )     (91 )
Special items (after-tax):
                       
Curtailment gain (See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    30                      
Cost reduction charges (See Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    (29 )     (35 )      
Completion of IRS examination (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    20             23  
Charges related to litigation matters (See Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
          (76 )      
 
                 
Adjusted income from operations
  $ 1,097     $ 946     $ 1,178  
 
                 
Summarized below is adjusted income from operations by segment:
                         
(In millions)                  
Adjusted Income (Loss) From Operations   2009     2008     2007  
Health Care
  $ 729     $ 715     $ 679  
Disability and Life
    279       275       248  
International
    182       188       174  
Run-off Reinsurance
    (24 )     (209 )     80  
Other Operations
    85       87       104  
Corporate
    (154 )     (110 )     (107 )
 
                 
Total
  $ 1,097     $ 946     $ 1,178  
 
                 

 

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Overview of 2009 Consolidated Results of Operations
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2009 was significantly higher than 2008, reflecting improved adjusted income from operations, as explained below, as well as the following:
  substantially improved results in the GMIB business due to improved equity market conditions and generally higher interest rates;
  improved realized investment results, also reflecting better market conditions during 2009; and
  the favorable year over year impact of the following special items as noted in the above table: completion of the IRS examination; the curtailment gain on the pension plan; and the absence of litigation charges in 2009.
Adjusted income from operations increased 16% in 2009 compared with 2008, primarily reflecting significantly improved results in the Run-off Reinsurance segment due to a lower amount of reserve strengthening for the GMDB business in 2009 compared with 2008. This result was primarily due to improved equity market conditions in 2009. Also, in the aggregate, adjusted income from operations from the Company’s ongoing operating segments (Health Care, Disability and Life, and International) improved slightly in 2009 over 2008. These favorable effects were partially offset by higher unallocated costs (including interest) reported in Corporate.
Overview of 2008 Consolidated Results of Operations
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2008 declined significantly compared with 2007, reflecting lower adjusted income from operations as explained below, as well as the following:
  higher losses in the GMIB business, reflecting the deterioration in the financial markets in 2008 and the effect of adopting new fair value guidance;
  significant net realized investment losses primarily due to impairments caused largely by the deterioration in the financial markets. These losses were partially offset by gains on the sale of real estate; and
  special charges for litigation and cost reduction matters discussed below.
Adjusted income from operations decreased 20% in 2008 compared with 2007 due to losses in the GMDB business resulting from the adverse equity market conditions in 2008, partially offset by higher earnings in each of the Company’s ongoing operating segments.
Special Items and GMIB
Management does not believe that the special items noted in the table above are representative of the Company’s underlying results of operations. Accordingly, the Company excluded these special items from adjusted income from operations in order to facilitate an understanding and comparison of results of operations and permit analysis of trends in underlying revenue, expenses and shareholders’ income from continuing operations.
Special items for 2009 included a curtailment gain resulting from the decision to freeze the pension plan (see Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information), cost reduction charges related to the previously announced 2008 cost reduction program (see the Introduction section of the MD&A beginning on page 48 of this Form 10-K), and benefits resulting from the completion of the 2005 and 2006 IRS examinations (see Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information).
Special items for 2008 included a cost reduction charge related to the previously announced 2008 cost reduction program (see the Introduction section of the MD&A beginning on page 48 of this Form 10-K), a litigation matter related to the CIGNA Pension Plan (see Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information) reported in Corporate and charges related to certain other litigation matters, which are reported in the Health Care segment.
The special item for 2007 consisted of previously unrecognized tax benefits resulting from the completion of the IRS examination for the 2003 and 2004 tax years.
The Company also excludes the results of the GMIB business from adjusted income from operations because the fair value of GMIB assets and liabilities must be recalculated each quarter using updated capital market assumptions. The resulting changes in fair value, which are reported in shareholders’ net income, are volatile and unpredictable. See the Critical Accounting Estimates section of the MD&A beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K for more information on the effect of capital market assumption changes on shareholders’ net income. Because of this volatility, and since the GMIB business is in run-off, management does not believe that its results are meaningful in assessing underlying results of operations.

 

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Outlook for 2010
The Company expects 2010 adjusted income from operations to be comparable to or slightly higher than 2009. Information is not available for management to reasonably estimate the future results of the GMIB business or realized investment results due in part to interest rate and stock market volatility and other internal and external factors. This outlook includes an assumption that GMDB (also known as “VADBe”) results will be approximately break-even for full-year 2010, reflective of the Company’s view that the long-term reserve assumptions are appropriate and assumes that capital markets remain stable during the year. In addition, the Company is not able to identify or reasonably estimate the financial impact of special items in 2010 however they may include potential adjustments associated with cost reduction, litigation, and tax-related items.
The Company’s outlook for 2010 is subject to the factors cited in the Cautionary Statement beginning on page 95 of this Form 10-K and the sensitivities discussed in the Critical Accounting Estimates section of the MD&A beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K. If unfavorable equity market and interest rate movements occur, the Company could experience losses related to investment impairments and the GMIB and GMDB businesses. These losses could adversely impact the Company’s consolidated results of operations and financial condition by potentially reducing the capital of the Company’s insurance subsidiaries and reducing their dividend-paying capabilities.
Revenues
Total revenues decreased by 4% in 2009, compared with 2008, and increased by 8% in 2008 compared with 2007. Changes in the components of total revenue are described more fully below.
Premiums and Fees
Premiums and fees decreased by 1% in 2009, compared with 2008, reflecting membership declines in Health Care resulting from higher unemployment and the unfavorable effect of foreign currency translation in International, offset by the absence of premium and fees from the acquired business in the first quarter of 2008 since this business was acquired April 1, 2008.
Premiums and fees increased by 8% in 2008, compared with 2007 reflecting the impact of the acquired business, growth in the Disability and Life segment, as well as growth and rate increases in the International segment. See segment reporting discussions for additional details.
Net Investment Income
Net investment income decreased by 5% in 2009, compared with 2008, primarily due to lower income from real estate funds and security partnerships, unfavorable foreign exchange rates and lower investment yields partially offset by higher invested assets.
Net investment income decreased by 5% in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily due to lower yields driven by declines in short-term interest rates, commercial mortgage pre-payment fees, and income from security partnerships.
Mail Order Pharmacy Revenues
Mail order pharmacy revenues increased by 6% in 2009, compared with 2008, primarily due to rate increases and by 8% in 2008, compared with 2007 due to increased script volume and rate increases.
Other Revenues
Other revenues include the impact of futures contracts associated with the GMDB equity hedge program. In 2009, the Company reported losses of $282 million associated with the GMDB equity hedge program, compared with gains of $333 million in 2008. The losses in 2009 primarily reflected increases in stock market values, while the gains in 2008 primarily reflected declines in stock market values. Excluding the impact of the futures contracts associated with the GMDB equity hedge program, Other revenues decreased 4% in 2009, compared with 2008, primarily reflecting declines in amortization of deferred gains on the sales of the retirement benefits and individual life insurance and annuity businesses.
Excluding the impact of the futures contracts associated with the GMDB equity hedge program, Other revenues increased 5% in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily reflecting the impact of the acquired business. In 2008, the Company reported a gain of $333 million associated with the GMDB equity hedge program, compared with a loss of $32 million in 2007.

 

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Realized Investment Results
Realized investment results in 2009 were significantly improved compared to 2008 primarily due to:
  lower asset write-downs on fixed maturities largely reflecting improved market conditions;
  gains on sales of fixed maturities and equities in 2009 compared with losses in 2008; and
  gains on hybrid securities in 2009 compared with losses in 2008 (changes in fair value for these securities are reported in realized investment results).
These favorable effects were partially offset by higher impairments of investments in real estate entities and commercial mortgage loans in 2009 due to the impact of the continued weak economic environment on the commercial real estate market and the absence of significant gains on the sales of real estate ventures reported during 2008.
Realized investment results in 2008 were lower than in 2007, primarily due to higher losses associated with asset write-downs and increases in valuation allowances primarily due to higher interest rates and credit losses resulting from adverse economic conditions during 2008. In addition, the Company had higher losses on sales of fixed maturities and equity securities. These losses were partially offset by higher gains on sales of real estate investments held in joint ventures.
See Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts and related disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Management considers an accounting estimate to be critical if:
  it requires assumptions to be made that were uncertain at the time the estimate was made; and
  changes in the estimate or different estimates that could have been selected could have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations or financial condition.
Management has discussed the development and selection of its critical accounting estimates with the Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors and the Audit Committee has reviewed the disclosures presented below.
In addition to the estimates presented in the following table, there are other accounting estimates used in the preparation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements, including estimates of liabilities for future policy benefits other than those identified in the following table, as well as estimates with respect to goodwill, unpaid claims and claim expenses, postemployment and postretirement benefits other than pensions, certain compensation accruals, and income taxes.
Management believes the current assumptions used to estimate amounts reflected in the Company’s consolidated financial statements are appropriate. However, if actual experience differs from the assumptions used in estimating amounts reflected in the Company’s consolidated financial statements, the resulting changes could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, and in certain situations, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s liquidity and financial condition.
See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on significant accounting policies that impact the Company.

 

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Balance Sheet Caption /        
Nature of Critical Accounting Estimate   Assumptions / Approach Used   Effect if Different Assumptions Used
Future policy benefits — Guaranteed minimum death benefits (“GMDB” also known as “VADBe”)

These liabilities are estimates of the present value of net amounts expected to be paid, less the present value of net future premiums expected to be received. The amounts to be paid represent the excess of the guaranteed death benefit over the values of contractholders’ accounts. The death benefit coverage in force at December 31, 2009 (representing the amount payable if all of approximately 590,000 contractholders had submitted death claims as of that date) was approximately $7 billion.

Liabilities for future policy benefits for these contracts as of December 31 were as follows (in millions):

     2009 — $1,285
     2008 $1,609
  The Company estimates these liabilities based on assumptions for lapse, partial surrender, mortality, interest rates (mean investment performance and discount rate), and volatility. These assumptions are based on the Company’s experience and future expectations over the long-term period. The Company monitors actual experience to update these estimates as necessary.

Lapse refers to the full surrender of an annuity prior to a contractholder’s death.

Partial surrender refers to the fact that most contractholders have the ability to withdraw substantially all of their mutual fund investments while retaining any available death benefit coverage in effect at the time of the withdrawal. Once a partial surrender is made, the liability increases reflecting lower future assumed premiums, a lower likelihood of lapse, and a lower likelihood of account values recovering sufficiently to reduce the death benefit exposure in future periods. These effects are not covered by the Company’s GMDB equity hedge program. Market declines could expose the Company to higher amounts of death benefit exposure that can be retained by contractholders subsequent to a significant partial surrender and to higher election rates of future partial surrenders. Thus, if equity markets decline, the Company’s liability for partial surrenders increases and there is no corresponding offset from the hedge program. The election rate for expected future partial surrenders is updated quarterly based on emerging experience.

Interest rates include both (a) the mean investment performance assumption, and (b) the liability discount rate assumption. The mean investment performance for underlying equity mutual funds considers the Company’s GMDB equity hedge program which reflects the average short-term interest rate to be earned over the life of the program. The mean investment performance for underlying fixed income mutual funds considers the expected market return over the life of the contracts.
  Current assumptions used to estimate these liabilities are detailed in Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Based on current and historical market, industry and Company-specific experience and management’s judgment, the Company believes that it is reasonably likely that the unfavorable changes in the key assumptions and/or conditions described below could occur. If these unfavorable assumption changes were to occur, the approximate after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income would be as follows: 

     5% increase in mortality rates $30 million
     10% decrease in lapse rates $25 million
     10% increase in election rates for future partial surrenders $5 million
     50 basis point decrease in interest rates:
     Mean Investment Performance $20 million
     Discount Rate $25 million
     10% increase in volatility $20 million

As of December 31, 2009, if contractholder account values invested in underlying equity mutual funds declined by 10% due to equity market performance, the after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income resulting from an increase in the provision for partial surrenders would be approximately $10 million.

As of December 31, 2009, if contractholder account values invested in underlying bond/money market mutual funds declined by 2% due to bond/money market performance, the after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income resulting from an increase in the provision for partial surrenders and an increase in unhedged exposure would be approximately $10 million.

The amounts would be reflected in the Run-off Reinsurance segment.
 
       
 
  Volatility refers to the degree of variation of future market returns of the underlying mutual fund investments.    
 
       
 
Health Care medical claims payable

Medical claims payable for the Health Care segment include both reported claims and estimates for losses incurred but not yet reported.

Liabilities for medical claims payable as of December 31 were as follows (in millions):

     2009 — gross $921; net $715
     2008 — gross $924; net $713

These liabilities are presented above both gross and net of reinsurance and other recoverables.

These liabilities generally exclude amounts for administrative services only business.

See Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
  The Company develops estimates for Health Care medical claims payable using actuarial principles and assumptions based on historical and projected claim payment patterns, medical cost trends, which are impacted by the utilization of medical services and the related costs of the services provided (unit costs), benefit design, seasonality, and other relevant operational factors. The Company consistently applies these actuarial principles and assumptions each reporting period, with consideration given to the variability of these factors, and recognizes the actuarial best estimate of the ultimate liability within a level of confidence, as required by actuarial standards of practice, which require that the liabilities be adequate under moderately adverse conditions.

The Company’s estimate of the liability for medical claims incurred but not yet reported is primarily calculated using historical claim payment patterns and expected medical cost trends. The Company analyzes the historical claim payment patterns by comparing the dates claims were incurred, generally the dates services were provided, to the dates claims were paid to determine “completion factors”, which are a measure of the time to process claims. A completion factor is calculated for each month of incurred claims. The Company uses historical completion factors combined with an analysis of current trends and operational factors to develop current estimates of completion factors. The Company estimates the ultimate liability for claims incurred in each month by applying the current estimates of completion factors to the current paid claims data.
  For the year ended December 31, 2009, actual experience differed from the Company’s key assumptions, resulting in $43 million of favorable incurred claims related to prior years’ medical claims payable or 0.6% of the current year incurred claims as reported for the year ended December 31, 2008. For the year ended December 31, 2008, actual experience differed from the Company’s key assumptions, resulting in $60 million of favorable incurred claims related to prior years’ medical claims, or 0.9% of the current year incurred claims reported for the year ended December 31, 2007. Specifically, the favorable impact is due to faster than expected completion factors and lower than expected medical cost trends, both of which included an assumption for moderately adverse experience.

The corresponding impact of favorable prior year development on net income was not material for the year ended December 31, 2009. The change in the amount of the incurred claims related to prior years in the medical claims payable liability does not directly correspond to an increase or decrease in shareholders’ net income.

 

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Balance Sheet Caption /        
Nature of Critical Accounting Estimate   Assumptions / Approach Used   Effect if Different Assumptions Used
 
  The difference between this estimate of the ultimate liability and the current paid claims data is the estimate of the remaining claims to be paid for each incurral month. These monthly estimates are aggregated and included in the Company’s Health Care medical claims payable at the end of each reporting period. Completion factors are used to estimate the health care medical claims payable for all months where claims have not been completely resolved and paid, except for the most recent month as described below.    
 
       
 
  Completion factors are impacted by several key items including changes in the level of claims processed electronically versus manually (auto-adjudication), changes in provider claims submission rates, membership changes and the mix of products. As noted, the Company uses historical completion factors combined with an analysis of current trends and operational factors to develop current estimates of completion factors. This approach implicitly assumes that historical completion rates will be a useful indicator for the current period. It is possible that the actual completion rates for the current period will develop differently from historical patterns, which could have a material impact on the Company’s medical claims payable and net income.    
 
       
 
  Claims incurred in the most recent month have limited paid claims data, since a large portion of health care claims are not submitted to the Company for payment in the month services have been provided. This makes the completion factor approach less reliable for claims incurred in the most recent month. As a result, in any reporting period, for the estimates of the ultimate claims incurred in the most recent month, the Company primarily relies on medical cost trend analysis, which reflects expected claim payment patterns and other relevant operational considerations. Medical cost trend is impacted by several key factors including medical service utilization and unit costs and the Company’s ability to manage these factors through benefit design, underwriting, provider contracting and the Company’s medical management initiatives. These factors are affected by changes in the level and mix of medical benefits offered, including inpatient, outpatient and pharmacy, the impact of copays and deductibles, changes in provider practices and changes in consumer demographics and consumption behavior.    
 
       
 
  Because historical trend factors are often not representative of current claim trends, the trend experienced for the most recent history along with an analysis of emerging trends, have been taken into consideration in establishing the liability for medical claims payable at December 31, 2009 and 2008. It is possible that the actual medical trend for the current period will develop differently from the expected, which could have a material impact on the Company’s medical claims payable and net income.    
 
       
 
  For each reporting period, the Company evaluates key assumptions by comparing the assumptions used in establishing the medical claims payable to actual experience. When actual experience differs from the assumptions used in establishing the liability, medical claims payable are increased or decreased through current period net income. Additionally, the Company evaluates expected future developments and emerging trends which may impact key assumptions. The estimation process involves considerable judgment, reflecting the variability inherent in forecasting future claim payments. The adequacy of these estimates is highly sensitive to changes in the Company’s key assumptions, specifically completion factors, which are impacted by actual or expected changes in the submission and payment of medical claims, and medical cost trends, which are impacted by actual or expected changes in the utilization of medical services and unit costs.    
 

 

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Balance Sheet Caption /        
Nature of Critical Accounting Estimate   Assumptions / Approach Used   Effect if Different Assumptions Used
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities, and Other assets —
      Guaranteed minimum income benefits (“GMIB”)


These liabilities are estimates of the present value of net amounts expected to be paid, less the present value of net future premiums expected to be received. The amounts to be paid represent the excess of the expected value of the income benefit over the value of the annuitants’ accounts at the time of annuitization.

The assets associated with these contracts represent receivables in connection with reinsurance that the Company has purchased from two external reinsurers, which covers 55% of the exposures on these contracts.

As discussed in Note 2(B) to the Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company implemented new guidance for fair value measurements on January 1, 2008. At adoption, the Company was required to change certain assumptions to reflect those that it believes a hypothetical market participant would use to determine an exit price. As a result, the Company recorded a charge of $131 million after-tax, net of reinsurance ($202 million pre-tax).

Liabilities related to these contracts as of December 31, were as follows (in millions):

     2009 — $903
     2008 $1,757

As of December 31, estimated amounts receivable related to these contracts from two external reinsurers, were as follows (in millions):

     2009 — $482
     2008 $953
  The Company considers the various assumptions used to estimate the fair values of assets and liabilities associated with these contracts in two categories: 1) capital market inputs; and 2) future annuitant behavior and other assumptions.

Capital market inputs include market returns and discount rates, claim interest rates and market volatility. This group of assumptions is largely based on market-observable inputs.

Interest rates include (a) market returns, (b) the liability discount rate assumption and (c) the projected interest rates used to calculate the reinsured income benefit at the time of annuitization (claim interest rate).

Volatility refers to the degree of variation of future market returns of the underlying mutual fund investments.

The second group of assumptions consists of future annuitant behavior and other inputs, and includes annuity election rates, lapse, mortality, nonperformance risk (for both the Company and its retrocessionnaires), and a risk and profit charge. This group of assumptions is based on the Company’s experience, industry data, and management’s judgment.

Annuity election rates refer to the proportion of annuitants who elect to receive their income benefit as an annuity.

Lapse refers to the full surrender of an annuity prior to annuitization of the policy.

Nonperformance risk refers to the market’s perception that either the Company will not fulfill its GMIB liability (own credit) or the Company will not collect on its GMIB retrocessional coverage (reinsurer credit risk).

Risk and profit charge refers to the amount that a hypothetical market participant would include in the valuation to cover the uncertainty of outcomes and the desired return on capital.
  Current assumptions used to estimate these liabilities are detailed in Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. The Company’s results of operations are expected to be volatile in future periods because most capital market assumptions will be based largely on market-observable inputs at the close of each period including interest rates and market implied volatilities.

Based on current and historical market, industry and Company-specific experience and management’s judgment, the Company believes that it is reasonably likely that the unfavorable changes in the key assumptions and/or conditions described below could occur. If these unfavorable assumption changes were to occur, the approximate after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income, net of estimated amounts receivable from reinsurers, would be as follows:

     50 basis point decrease in interest rates (which are aligned with LIBOR) used for projecting market returns and discounting $15 million
     50 basis point decrease in interest rates used for projecting claim exposure (7-year Treasury rates) $25 million
     20% increase in implied market volatility $5 million
     5% decrease in mortality $1 million
     10% increase in annuity election rates $5 million
     10% decrease in lapse rates $5 million
     10% increase to the risk and profit charge — $3 million

Market declines which reduce annuitants’ account values expose the Company to higher potential claims which results in a larger net liability. If annuitants’ account values invested in underlying equity mutual funds as of December 31, 2009 declined by 10% due to equity market performance, the approximate after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income, net of estimated amounts receivable from reinsurers, would be approximately $20 million. If annuitants’ account values invested in underlying bond/money market/mutual funds as of December 31, 2009 declined by 2% due to bond/money market performance, the approximate after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income, net of estimated amounts receivable from reinsurers, would be approximately $2 million.

If credit default swap spreads used to evaluate the nonperformance risk of the Company were to narrow or the credit rating of its principal life insurance subsidiary were to improve, it would cause a decrease in the discount rate of the GMIB liability, resulting in an unfavorable impact to earnings. If the discount rate decreased by 25 bps due to this, the approximate after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income would be approximately $10 million.
   

 

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Balance Sheet Caption /        
Nature of Critical Accounting Estimate   Assumptions / Approach Used   Effect if Different Assumptions Used
 
      If credit default swap spreads used to evaluate the nonperformance risk of the Company’s GMIB retrocessionnaires were to widen or the retrocessionnaires’ credit ratings were to weaken, it would cause an increase in the discount rate of the GMIB asset, resulting in an unfavorable impact to earnings. If the discount rate increased by 25 bps due to this, the approximate after-tax decrease in shareholders’ net income would be approximately $5 million.

All of these estimated impacts due to unfavorable changes in assumptions could vary from quarter to quarter depending on actual reserve levels, the actual market conditions or changes in the anticipated view of a hypothetical market participant as of any future valuation date.

The amounts would be reflected in the Run-off Reinsurance segment in GMIB expense.
 
 
       
Reinsurance recoverables — Reinsurance recoverables in Run-off Reinsurance

Collectability of reinsurance recoverables requires an assessment of risks that such amounts will not be collected, including risks associated with reinsurer default and disputes with reinsurers regarding applicable coverage.

Gross and net reinsurance recoverables in the Run-off Reinsurance segment as of December 31, were as follows (in millions):
  The amount of reinsurance recoverables in the Run-off Reinsurance segment, net of reserves, represents management’s best estimate of recoverability, including an assessment of the financial strength of reinsurers.   A 10% reduction of net reinsurance recoverables due to uncollectability at December 31, 2009, would reduce shareholders’ net income by approximately $10 million after-tax.

The amounts would be reflected in the Run-off Reinsurance segment.

See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
         
     2009 — gross $127; net $121
     2008 — gross $180; net $169
       
 
 
       
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities — pension liabilities

These liabilities are estimates of the present value of the qualified and nonqualified pension benefits to be paid (attributed to employee service to date) net of the fair value of plan assets. The accrued pension benefit liability as of December 31 was as follows (in millions):

     2009 — $1,513
     2008 — $1,853

See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
  The Company estimates these liabilities and the related expense with actuarial models using various assumptions including discount rates and an expected long-term return on plan assets.

Discount rates are set by applying actual annualized yields at various durations from the Citigroup Pension Liability curve, without adjustment, to the expected cash flows of the pension liabilities.

The expected long-term return on plan assets for the domestic qualified pension plan is developed considering actual historical returns, expected long-term market conditions, plan asset mix and management’s investment strategy. In addition, to measure pension costs the Company uses a market-related asset value method for domestic qualified pension plan assets invested in non-fixed income investments, which are approximately 80% of total plan assets. This method recognizes the difference between actual and expected returns in the non-fixed income portfolio over 5 years, a method that reduces the short-term impact of market fluctuations on pension cost. At December 31, 2009, the market-related asset value was approximately $3.3 billion compared with a market value of $2.9 billion.
  Using past experience, the Company expects that it is reasonably possible that a favorable or unfavorable change in these key assumptions of 50 basis points could occur. An unfavorable change is a decrease in these key assumptions with resulting impacts as discussed below.

If discount rates for the qualified and nonqualified pension plans decreased by 50 basis points:

     annual pension costs for 2010 would decrease by approximately $3 million, after-tax; and
     the accrued pension benefit liability would increase by approximately $200 million as of December 31, 2009 resulting in an after-tax decrease to shareholders’ equity of approximately $130 million as of December 31, 2009.

If the expected long-term return on domestic qualified pension plan assets decreased by 50 basis points, annual pension costs for 2010 would increase by approximately $10 million, after-tax.

If the Company used the market value of assets to measure pension costs as opposed to the market-related value, annual pension cost for 2010 would increase by approximately $30 million, after-tax.
   

 

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Balance Sheet Caption /        
Nature of Critical Accounting Estimate   Assumptions / Approach Used   Effect if Different Assumptions Used
 
  The accumulated unrecognized actuarial loss of $1.6 billion at December 31, 2009 primarily reflects the significant decline in the value of equity securities during 2008. The actuarial loss is adjusted for unrecognized changes in market-related asset values and amortized over the average remaining life expectancy of plan participants if the adjusted loss exceeds 10% of the market-related value of plan assets or 10% of the projected benefit obligation, whichever is greater. As of December 31, 2009, approximately $0.7 billion of the adjusted actuarial loss exceeded 10% of the projected benefit obligation. As a result, approximately $16 million after-tax will be expensed in 2010 net income. For the year ended December 31, 2009, $22 million after-tax was expensed in net income.

  If the December 31, 2009 fair values of domestic qualified plan assets decreased by 10%, the accrued pension benefit liability would increase by approximately $285 million as of December 31, 2009 resulting in an after-tax decrease to shareholders’ equity of approximately $185 million.

An increase in these key assumptions would result in impacts to annual pension costs, the accrued pension liability and shareholders’ equity in an opposite direction, but similar amounts.
 
Investments — Fixed maturities


     Recognition of losses from “other- than-
     temporary” impairments of public and
     private placement fixed maturities


To assess whether a fixed maturity’s decline in fair value below its amortized cost is other than temporary, the Company evaluates the expected recovery in value and its intent to sell or the likelihood of a required sale of the fixed maturity prior to an expected recovery.

When the Company does not expect to recover a fixed maturity’s amortized cost, its fair value and expected future cash flows must be estimated by management to record an impairment loss. The credit portion of an impairment loss is recognized in net income and measured as the difference between a fixed maturity’s amortized cost and the net present value of its projected future cash flows. The non-credit portion, if any, is recognized in a separate component of shareholders’ equity.

See Note 2 (C) to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding the Company’s accounting policies for fixed maturities.
  When evaluating whether a loss is other than temporary, the Company considers factors including;

   length of time and severity of decline;
   financial health and specific near term prospects of the issuer;
   changes in the regulatory, economic or general market environment of the issuer’s industry or geographic region; and
   the Company’s intent to sell or the likelihood of a required sale prior to recovery.

Management estimates other-than-temporary impairments based on fair values using quoted market prices for public securities with active markets and generally the present value of future cash flows for private placement bonds and other public securities. Expected future cash flows for each fixed maturity are based on the Company’s assessment of qualitative and quantitative factors, including the probability of default, and the estimated timing and amount of any recovery in value. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of the Company’s fair value measurements.

The Company recognized other-than-temporary impairments of investments in fixed maturities as follows (in millions, after-tax):

  For all fixed maturities with cost in excess of their fair value, if this excess was determined to be other-than-temporary, shareholders’ net income for the year ended December 31, 2009 would have decreased by approximately $86 million after-tax.

For private placement bonds considered impaired, a decrease of 10% of all expected future cash flows for the impaired bonds would reduce shareholders’ net income by approximately $2 million after-tax.
 
 
  2009 $31
  2008 — $138
  2007 — $20

See Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of the Company’s review of declines in fair value.
   

 

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Balance Sheet Caption /        
Nature of Critical Accounting Estimate   Assumptions / Approach Used   Effect if Different Assumptions Used
Investments — Commercial Mortgage Loans — Valuation Reserves

Recognition of losses from valuation reserves for impaired commercial mortgage loans


To determine whether a commercial mortgage loan is impaired, the Company evaluates the likelihood of collecting all interest and principal payments in accordance with the contractual terms of the original loan agreement. When it is probable that the Company will not collect amounts due according to the terms of the original loan agreement, a loan is considered impaired and the Company must estimate the fair value of the underlying property to measure an impairment loss. An impairment loss is recorded using a valuation allowance for an impaired commercial mortgage loan’s carrying value in excess of the estimated fair value of its underlying property. Changes to valuation reserves are recorded in Realized investment gains (losses).

See Note 2 (C) to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding the Company’s accounting policies for commercial mortgage loans.
  The Company’s evaluation of the likelihood of collecting all contractual payments and the collateral fair value for commercial mortgage loans is a qualitative and quantitative process which is subject to uncertainties. The Company carefully evaluates all facts and circumstances for each loan and its supporting collateral.

When evaluating the likelihood of collecting the contractual payments of a commercial mortgage loan, the Company considers factors including:

   financial statements, budgets and operating plans for the property;
   inspection reports of the property completed by third party servicers;
   debt service coverage of the underlying collateral;
   the borrower’s continuing financial commitment to the property; and
   conditions and factors pertinent to the property and its local market.

When it becomes probable that all contractual payments will not be collected according to the terms of the original loan agreement, the Company calculates the estimated fair value of the underlying property based on a 10-year discounted cash flow analysis. Factors key to this valuation include the following:

  If property values declined by 10% across the commercial mortgage loan portfolio as of December 31, 2009, approximately 20% of the portfolio’s loans would have carrying values in excess of their underlying properties’ fair values totaling approximately $85 million. And if each of these loans were considered impaired as of December 31, 2009, shareholders’ net income would decrease by approximately $55 million after-tax.

If underlying property values declined by 10% for impaired commercial mortgage loans with valuation reserves as of December 31, 2009, shareholders’ net income would decrease by approximately $8 million after-tax.
 
 
   net operating income of the property;
   rental and growth rates for the property and its local market;
   capital requirements for the property; and
   current market discount and capitalization rates.
   
 
       
 
  These evaluations are based primarily on an in-depth review of the commercial mortgage loan portfolio which is completed annually in the third quarter. The Company updates this annual review as material changes in these factors are identified.

The Company recognized impairment losses from commercial mortgage loan valuation reserves as follows (in millions, after-tax):
   
 
       
 
 
  2009 — $11
  2008 — $0
  2007 — $0
   
 
       
 
  See the Investment Assets section of the MD&A beginning on page 87 for discussion of the Company’s problem and potential problem mortgage loans and Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information surrounding impaired commercial mortgage loans.    

 

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SEGMENT REPORTING
Operating segments generally reflect groups of related products, but the International segment is generally based on geography. The Company measures the financial results of its segments using “segment earnings (loss),” which is defined as shareholders’ income (loss) from continuing operations excluding after-tax realized investment gains and losses. “Adjusted income from operations” for each segment is defined as segment earnings excluding special items and the results of the Company’s GMIB business. Adjusted income from operations is another measure of profitability used by the Company’s management because it presents the underlying results of operations of the segment and permits analysis of trends. This measure is not determined in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as a substitute for the most directly comparable GAAP measure, which is segment earnings. Each segment provides a reconciliation between segment earnings and adjusted income from operations.
Health Care Segment
Segment Description
The Health Care segment includes medical, dental, behavioral health, prescription drug and other products and services that may be integrated to provide consumers with comprehensive health care solutions. This segment also includes group disability and life insurance products that were historically sold in connection with certain experience-rated medical products. These products and services are offered through a variety of funding arrangements such as guaranteed cost, retrospectively experience-rated and administrative services only arrangements.
The Company measures the operating effectiveness of the Health Care segment using the following key factors:
  segment earnings and adjusted income from operations;
  membership growth;
  sales of specialty products to core medical customers;
  changes in operating expenses per member; and
  medical expense as a percentage of premiums (medical care ratio) in the guaranteed cost business.
Results of Operations
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Premiums and fees
  $ 11,384     $ 11,665     $ 10,666  
Net investment income
    181       200       202  
Mail order pharmacy revenues
    1,282       1,204       1,118  
Other revenues
    262       267       250  
 
                 
Segment revenues
    13,109       13,336       12,236  
Mail order pharmacy cost of goods sold
    1,036       961       904  
Benefits and other expenses
    10,943       11,359       10,295  
 
                 
Benefits and expenses
    11,979       12,320       11,199  
 
                 
Income before taxes
    1,130       1,016       1,037  
Income taxes
    399       352       358  
 
                 
Segment earnings
    731       664       679  
Less: special items (after-tax) included in segment earnings:
                       
Curtailment gain (See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    25              
Cost reduction charge (See Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    (24 )     (27 )      
Completion of IRS examination (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    1              
Charge related to litigation matters (See Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
          (24 )      
 
                 
Adjusted income from operations
  $ 729     $ 715     $ 679  
 
                 
Realized investment gains (losses), net of taxes
  $ (19 )   $ (13 )   $ 14  
 
                 

 

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The Health Care segment’s adjusted income from operations for 2009, as compared with 2008, was favorably impacted by the absence of a $7 million after-tax adjustment related to a large experience-rated life and non-medical account in run-out recorded in the first quarter of 2008.
Excluding this item, adjusted income from operations for 2009 was slightly higher than 2008 reflecting:
  lower operating expenses, excluding the impact of an additional quarter from the acquired business (effective April 1, 2008), primarily driven by cost reduction initiatives and pension plan changes, partially offset by higher management incentive compensation and higher information technology spend;
  higher stop loss earnings largely from the acquired business (effective April 1, 2008), tempered by lower margins on the remaining book; and
  improved specialty earnings.
These favorable effects were largely offset by:
  lower membership;
  lower guaranteed cost earnings primarily reflecting a higher medical care ratio driven by unfavorable prior year development, as well as higher in-year claims due, in part to H1N1 flu-related claims; and
  lower investment income primarily reflecting lower income from real estate funds.
The Health Care segment’s adjusted income from operations in 2008, as compared with 2007, was favorably impacted by lower management incentive compensation expense of $21 million after-tax.
Excluding the items mentioned above, adjusted income from operations increased in 2008 compared with 2007 due to:
  earnings from the acquired business (effective April 1, 2008);
  higher service fees due to membership growth and rate increases;
  favorable specialty earnings due to increased sales to core medical customers as well as strong performance in the direct specialty business; and
  improved Medicare Part D results due in part to increased membership.
These favorable effects were partially offset by:
  lower membership and a higher medical care ratio in the guaranteed cost business;
  lower medical margins in the experience-rated business; and
  higher operating expenses reflecting spending on operational improvement initiatives, including segment expansion and investments in information technology, partially offset by expense reductions in certain areas, primarily service operations.

 

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Revenues
The table below shows premiums and fees for the Health Care segment:
                         
(In millions)   2009     2008     2007  
Medical:
                       
Guaranteed cost excluding voluntary/limited benefits (1),(2)
  $ 3,148     $ 3,504     $ 3,877  
Voluntary/limited benefits
    232       200       160  
Experience-rated (2),(3)
    1,699       1,953       1,877  
Stop loss
    1,274       1,197       589  
Dental
    731       785       773  
Medicare
    595       400       349  
Medicare Part D
    342       327       326  
Other (4)
    515       518       473  
 
                 
Total medical
    8,536       8,884       8,424  
Life and other non-medical
    179       184       235  
 
                 
Total premiums
    8,715       9,068       8,659  
Fees (2),(5)
    2,669       2,597       2,007  
 
                 
Total premiums and fees
  $ 11,384     $ 11,665     $ 10,666  
 
                 
     
(1)   Includes guaranteed cost premiums primarily associated with open access and commercial HMO, as well as other risk-related products.
 
(2)   Premiums and/or fees associated with certain specialty products are also included.
 
(3)   Includes minimum premium members, who have a risk profile similar to experience-rated funding arrangements. The risk portion of minimum premium revenue is reported in experience-rated medical premium whereas the self funding portion of minimum premium revenue is recorded in fees. Also, includes certain non-participating cases for which special customer level reporting of experience is required.
 
(4)   Other medical premiums include risk revenue and specialty products.
 
(5)   Represents administrative service fees for medical members and related specialty product fees for non-medical members as well as fees related to Medicare Part D of $41 million in 2009, $69 million in 2008, and $61 million in 2007.
Premiums and fees decreased by 2% in 2009, compared with 2008, primarily reflecting lower membership largely due to disenrollment resulting from higher unemployment. This impact was partially offset by:
  rate actions across all products;
  increases in fees relating to specialty products;
  membership growth in the Medicare private fee for service and Voluntary products; and
  the impact of the acquired business (effective April 1, 2008).
Premiums and fees increased 9% in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily reflecting:
  the impact of the acquired business (effective April 1, 2008);
  increases in the experience-rated business due to rate increases;
  higher other medical premiums due to increased sales to core medical customers and rate increases in specialty business; and
  higher service fees due to increased membership and rate increases.
These factors were partially offset by a decrease in the guaranteed cost business which was due to membership declines largely in commercial HMO business partially offset by rate increases.
Net investment income decreased by 10% in 2009 compared with 2008 primarily reflecting lower income from real estate funds partially offset by higher invested assets. Net investment income decreased by 1% in 2008 compared with 2007 primarily reflecting lower yields partially offset by higher average assets.
Other revenues for the Health Care segment consist of revenues earned on direct channel sales of certain specialty products, including behavioral health and disease management.

 

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Benefits and Expenses
Health Care segment benefits and expenses consist of the following:
                         
(In millions)   2009     2008     2007  
Medical claims expense
  $ 6,927     $ 7,252     $ 6,798  
Other benefit expenses
    169       193       225  
Mail order pharmacy cost of goods sold
    1,036       961       904  
Other operating expenses
    3,847       3,914       3,272  
 
                 
Total benefits and expenses
  $ 11,979     $ 12,320     $ 11,199  
 
                 
Medical claims expense decreased by 4% in 2009 compared with 2008 largely due to lower membership, particularly in the experience-rated and guaranteed cost businesses. This impact was partially offset by growth in Medicare membership and increases in medical expenses due to medical cost inflation as well as H1N1 flu-related claims.
Medical claims expense increased 7% in 2008 compared with 2007 largely due to the impact of the acquired business.
Other benefit expenses include expenses associated with life, long-term disability and other non-medical products. These expenses have decreased 12% in 2009 compared with 2008 and 14% in 2008 compared with 2007, primarily reflecting the continued run-off of this business, as the Health Care segment no longer actively markets these products.
Other operating expenses include expenses related to:
  both retail and mail order pharmacy;
 
  disease management;
 
  voluntary and limited benefits;
 
  Medicare claims administration businesses; and
 
  integration costs associated with the acquired business.
Excluding the items noted above, as well as special items, other operating expenses increased slightly in 2009, compared with 2008, primarily due to expenses related to the acquired business (effective April 1, 2008), higher management incentive compensation and higher information technology spend, mostly offset by cost reduction initiatives and pension plan changes as a result of the comprehensive review of ongoing expenses, as well as lower volume-related expenses. Other operating expenses increased in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily reflecting expenses related to the acquired business and higher spending on operational improvement initiatives, including market segment expansion and investments in information technology. This increase was partially offset by lower management incentive compensation expenses in 2008.

 

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Other Items Affecting Health Care Results
Medical Membership
The Health Care segment’s medical membership includes any individual for whom the Company retains medical underwriting risk, who uses the Company’s network for services covered under their medical coverage or for whom the Company administers medical claims. As of December 31, estimated medical membership was as follows:
                         
(In thousands)   2009     2008     2007  
Guaranteed cost excluding voluntary/limited benefits (1)
    780       891       1,038  
Voluntary/limited benefits
    221       201       180  
Medicare
    52       35       31  
 
                 
Total guaranteed cost
    1,053       1,127       1,249  
Experience-rated (2)
    761       864       907  
Service
    9,226       9,688       8,013  
 
                 
Total medical membership
    11,040       11,679       10,169  
 
                 
     
(1)   Includes guaranteed cost members primarily associated with open access and commercial HMO, as well as other risk-related products.
 
(2)   Includes minimum premium members, who have a risk profile similar to experience-rated members.
The net decrease in the Health Care segment’s medical membership was 5.5% as of December 31, 2009 when compared with December 31, 2008. The decrease was primarily driven by disenrollment across all funding arrangements as a result of higher unemployment. The net increase in medical membership of 15% as of December 31, 2008 compared with December 31, 2007 was due to the acquisition of Great-West Healthcare, effective April 1, 2008.
Operational Strategies
The Health Care segment is focused on several operational strategies including improving the efficiency of its operations, while growing its customer base in targeted markets and meeting the needs of its customers. Savings generated from the reduction of operating expenses will provide the financial flexibility and capital to make investments that will enable the Company to enhance its capabilities, particularly in product development and the delivery of customer service, health advocacy and related technology. These capabilities are critical to enabling the Health Care segment to execute on its strategies to achieve profitable growth and retain customers. Successful execution of these operational strategies is critical to maintaining and improving its competitive position in the healthcare marketplace.
The operational strategies currently underway are discussed below.
Reducing operating expenses. The Company operates in an intensely competitive marketplace and its ability to establish a competitive cost structure over time is crucial to achieving its overall strategy. Accordingly, the Health Care segment is focused on reducing operating expenses, while investing prudently in technology and service capabilities to drive future growth.
The Health Care segment’s operating expenses are comprised of three components and are approximately allocated as follows: healthcare (70%), specialty and market segment expansion (20%), and premium taxes/commissions (10%).
    The healthcare component is the primary focus of the cost reduction activity. This component includes:
    fulfillment activities, which are comprised of service operations, technology, and medical and network management;
    customer acquisition, which represent costs for sales and account management, underwriting, and marketing and product development; and
    staff functions, which represent finance, legal and human resources.
    The specialty and market segment expansion and the premium tax/commission expense components would increase over time as revenues grow. Specialty includes pharmacy, Medicare Part D, disease management, dental and behavioral coverages.

 

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In 2009, excluding the impact of Great-West Healthcare, the Health Care segment significantly reduced healthcare operating expenses and expects to continue to meaningfully reduce these over time. These reductions are, and will continue to be, driven by actions in the following areas:
    employment-related savings;
    vendor management and procurement actions;
    reduction of the Health Care segment’s real estate footprint;
    leveraging technology to drive operating efficiencies; and
    targeted outsourcing actions.
The Health Care segment expects to drive reductions in its operating expenses while remaining focused on its other business strategies including investing in areas that are critical to the Company’s growth initiatives and segment expansions, ensuring continued excellence in customer service and clinical programs, and leveraging technology to drive further operating efficiencies.
Profitable growth and customer retention. The Health Care segment continues to focus on retaining profitable relationships, expanding on those relationships and growing profitable new business by focusing on:
    targeted market segments where buyers value our health improvement capabilities;
    targeted geographic regions where the Company already has a strong market presence and competitive networks;
    providing a diverse product portfolio that meets current market needs, as well as emerging consumer-directed trends;
    developing and implementing the systems, information technology and infrastructure to deliver member service that keeps pace with the emerging consumer-directed market trends; and
    increasing penetration of our specialty healthcare programs and services and cross-selling products sold primarily by other segments of the Company.
The Health Care segment is focused on market segment and product expansion. With respect to market segment expansion, the focus is predominantly in the “Middle Market” (employers with generally more than 250 but fewer than 5,000 employees), “Select” (employers with generally more than 50 but fewer than 250 employees), and “Individual” market segments. The Health Care segment is focusing on several strategic growth industries and targeting key geographic markets within the Select and Middle Market segments that align with our competitive strengths. The Health Care segment expects to grow its presence in these market segments by leveraging its customer knowledge, differentiated service model, product portfolio and distribution model. The Health Care segment continues to increase its penetration into the Individual market segment and will refine its strategy for this market segment pending the outcome of health care reform legislation. In the “National” market segment (multi-site, multi-state commercial employers with generally more than 5,000 employees), the Company will selectively focus on clients that value its differentiated product offering. These clients include those seeking engagement and incentive based programs designed to improve health, and those that purchase multiple products and services from a single company.
Driving additional cross-selling is also key to the Company’s integrated benefits value proposition. The Company is expanding network access for its dental product and improving network flexibility to drive better alignment with customers’ needs including increasing disability and pharmacy penetration across the entire book.
Offering products that meet emerging customer and market trends. In addition to designing lower cost plan offerings to meet emerging customer and market trends, enhancements to the Company’s suite of products (CIGNA Choice Fund® CIGNA Health Advisor, CIGNA Incentive Points Program, CIGNA Choicelinx/Custom Benefit Builder) offer various options to customers and employers that are key to our customer engagement strategy. By providing tools to our customers which will facilitate access and greater understanding of their healthcare choices, customers are better equipped to make effective health related decisions. CIGNA’s Cost of Care Estimator, Quicken Health and improvements to customer Explanation of Benefits and Health Statements are a part of the Company’s strategy to engage the individual by making information more available and easier to understand.

 

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Effectively managing medical costs. The Health Care segment operates under a centralized medical management model, which helps improve the health, well being and sense of security of its members, while reducing infrastructure expenses and driving productivity.
The Health Care segment is focused on continuing to effectively manage medical utilization and unit costs. The Company believes that by increasing the quality of medical care and improving access to care it can drive reductions in total medical cost and better outcomes, resulting in healthier members. To help achieve this, the Company continues to focus on contracting with providers to strengthen its networks in targeted markets, enhancing clinical capabilities and engaging its customers and clients/employers. In connection with the April 2008 Great-West Healthcare acquisition, the Company continues to integrate its offerings onto one extensive preferred provider network, in order to offer access to a broad range of utilization review and case management services at a competitive medical cost.
Delivering superior service to customers and health care professionals. The Company is focused on delivering consistent, reliable and superior service to customers, health care professionals and clients. The Company believes that further enhancing service can improve customer retention and, when combined with useful health information and tools, can help motivate customers to become more engaged in their personal health. This will help to promote healthy outcomes thereby removing cost from the healthcare system. The evolution of the consumer-driven health care market is driving increased product and service complexity and is raising customers’ expectations with respect to service levels, which is expected to require significant investment, management attention and heightened interaction with customers.
The Company continues to focus on the development and enhancement of its service model that is capable of meeting the challenges brought on by the increasing product and service complexity and the heightened expectations of health care customers. The Company continues to make significant investments in the development and implementation of systems and technology to improve the provider service experience for customers and health care professionals (e.g. opening its Call Center 24/7), thereby enhancing its capabilities and improving its competitive position.

 

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Disability and Life Segment
Segment Description
The Disability and Life segment includes group disability, life, accident and specialty insurance and case management for disability and workers’ compensation.
Key factors for this segment are:
  premium growth, including new business and customer retention;
  net investment income;
  benefits expense as a percentage of earned premium (loss ratio); and
  other operating expense as a percentage of earned premiums and fees (expense ratio).
Results of Operations
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Premiums and fees
  $ 2,634     $ 2,562     $ 2,374  
Net investment income
    244       256       276  
Other revenues
    113       117       131  
 
                 
Segment revenues
    2,991       2,935       2,781  
Benefits and expenses
    2,598       2,553       2,435  
 
                 
Income before taxes
    393       382       346  
Income taxes
    109       109       92  
 
                 
Segment earnings
    284       273       254  
Less: special items (after-tax) included in segment earnings:
                       
Curtailment gain (See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    4              
Cost reduction charge (See Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    (4 )     (2 )      
Completion of IRS examination (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    5             6  
 
                 
Adjusted income from operations
  $ 279     $ 275     $ 248  
 
                 
Realized investment (losses), net of taxes
  $ (1 )   $ (48 )   $ (5 )
 
                 
The Disability and Life segment’s adjusted income from operations increased 1% in 2009 compared to 2008 reflecting:
  favorable claims experience in the disability insurance business and the favorable after-tax impact of disability reserve studies of $20 million in 2009 compared with $8 million in 2008. The results in 2008 also included a $3 million favorable after-tax impact of a reinsurance settlement. The favorable claims experience and reserve study impacts are largely driven by continued strong disability claims management programs;
  improved claims experience in the accident business including the favorable after-tax impact of reserve studies of $5 million in 2009 compared with $3 million in 2008; and
  higher premiums and fees in the disability and life businesses.
Largely offsetting these factors were:
  lower results in the group life insurance business in 2009 primarily due to less favorable current year life claims experience, partially offset by the favorable after-tax impact of reserve studies of $9 million in 2009 compared with $3 million in 2008;
  a higher operating expense ratio, including a litigation expense charge of $4 million;
  lower net investment income; and
  the absence of the 2008 favorable after-tax impact of specialty reserve studies of $2 million.

 

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The Disability and Life segment’s adjusted income from operations increased 11% in 2008 compared to 2007 reflecting:
  improved claims experience in the disability insurance business and the favorable after-tax impact of disability reserve studies of $8 million in 2008 compared with $12 million in 2007. The results in 2008 also included a $3 million favorable after-tax impact of a reinsurance settlement. The favorable claims experience and reserve study impacts are largely driven by continued strong disability claims management programs;
  improved claims experience in the specialty business including the favorable after-tax impact of reserve studies of $2 million in 2008 compared with an unfavorable impact of $10 million in 2007;
  a lower expense ratio due to effective operating expense management and lower management incentive compensation; and
  business growth resulting in increased premiums and fees in the disability, life and accident businesses.
These factors were partially offset by:
  lower results in the group life insurance business due to less favorable life claims experience and lower year over year favorable after-tax impacts of reserve studies of $3 million in 2008 compared with $7 million in 2007;
  less favorable accident claims experience driven by higher average new claims size. Group accident results included the favorable after-tax impact of reserve studies of $3 million in both 2008 and 2007; and
  lower net investment income.
Revenues
Premiums and fees increased by 3% in 2009 reflecting disability and life sales growth and solid persistency, partially offset by lower employment levels at the customers we serve, the Company’s exit from a large, low-margin assumed government life reinsurance program and the sale of the renewal rights for the student and participant accident business. Premiums and fees increased by 8% in 2008 reflecting new sales growth and solid customer retention in the disability, life and accident lines of business, partially offset by less favorable customer retention in the specialty line of business.
Net investment income decreased by 5% in 2009 reflecting lower yields and lower security and real estate partnership income. Net investment income decreased by 7% in 2008 reflecting lower yields and lower security partnership income.
Benefits and Expenses
Excluding the pre-tax impact of the reserve studies, expense charge and special items noted above, benefits and expenses increased 3% in 2009 compared with 2008, primarily reflecting:
  disability and life business growth;
  less favorable life claims experience driven by the higher average size of death claims; and
  a higher expense ratio in 2009 compared with 2008 reflecting strategic investments in the claim operations and information technology initiatives partially offset by a continued focus on operating expense management and lower disability and workers’ compensation case management expenses.
These effects were partially offset by:
  more favorable accident claim experience, driven by lower new claims;
  more favorable disability claims experience resulting from higher resolutions driven by strong disability management programs partially offset by higher new claims; and
  the Company’s exit from the government life insurance program and sale of the renewal rights for the student and participant accident business.

 

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Excluding the pre-tax impact of the reserve studies, reinsurance settlement and cost reduction charge noted above, benefits and expenses increased 5% in 2008 compared with 2007, reflecting:
  business growth in the disability, life and accident lines of business; and
  less favorable claims experience in the life and accident businesses.
These effects were partially offset by:
  favorable claims experience in the disability and specialty businesses; and
  a lower expense ratio, driven by continued focus on operating expense management, lower disability and workers’ compensation case management expenses and lower management incentive compensation expenses.
International Segment
Segment Description
The International segment includes life, accident and supplemental health insurance products and international health care products and services, including those offered to expatriate employees of multinational corporations.
The key factors for this segment are:
  premium growth, including new business and customer retention;
  benefits expense as a percentage of earned premium (loss ratio);
  operating expense as a percentage of earned premium (expense ratio); and
  impact of foreign currency movements.
Results of Operations
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Premiums and fees
  $ 1,882     $ 1,870     $ 1,800  
Net investment income
    69       79       77  
Other revenues
    22       18       7  
 
                 
Segment revenues
    1,973       1,967       1,884  
Benefits and expenses
    1,717       1,679       1,610  
 
                 
Income before taxes
    256       288       274  
Income taxes
    70       104       96  
Income attributable to noncontrolling interest
    3       2       2  
 
                 
Segment earnings
    183       182       176  
Less: special items (after-tax) included in segment earnings:
                       
Cost reduction charge (See Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    (1 )     (6 )      
Curtailment gain (See Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    1              
Completion of IRS examination (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    1             2  
 
                 
Adjusted income from operations
  $ 182     $ 188     $ 174  
 
                 
Impact of foreign currency movements included in segment earnings
  $ (15 )   $ (13 )   $ 4  
 
                 
Realized investment gains (losses), net of taxes
  $ 2     $ (3 )   $ 1  
 
                 

 

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During the second quarter of 2009, the Company’s International segment implemented a capital management strategy to permanently invest the earnings of its South Korean operation overseas. Income taxes for this operation will therefore be recorded at the tax rate of the foreign jurisdiction. The International segment’s adjusted income from operations reflected favorable tax adjustments of $14 million from the implementation of this strategy for 2009. In addition to the implementation effect, adjusted income from operations also reflects $8 million from the ongoing impact of the lower tax rate on the permanently invested earnings for 2009. Excluding the impact of the South Korean tax adjustments and foreign currency movements, the International segment’s adjusted income from operations decreased 7% for 2009, compared with 2008. The decrease was primarily driven by unfavorable claims experience in the life, accident and supplemental health insurance business and the expatriate employee benefits business. The unfavorable effects were partially offset by revenue growth and competitively strong margins in both businesses. The impact of foreign currency movements was calculated by comparing the reported results to what the results would have been had the exchange rates remained constant with the prior year’s comparable period exchange rates. Special items were generally not denominated in foreign currency.
Excluding the impact of foreign currency movements noted in the table above, the International segment’s adjusted income from operations increased 16% in 2008 compared with 2007, primarily due to continued growth in the life, accident and supplemental health insurance business and the expatriate employee benefits business, as well as continued competitively strong margins.
Revenues
Premiums and fees. Excluding the effect of foreign currency movements, premiums and fees were $2,042 million in 2009 compared with reported premiums of $1,870 million in 2008, an increase of 9%. The increase was primarily attributable to new sales growth in the life, accident and supplemental health insurance operations, particularly in South Korea, and membership growth in the expatriate employee benefits business. Excluding the effect of foreign currency movements, premiums and fees were $1,971 million in 2008 compared with reported premiums of $1,800 million in 2007, an increase of 10%. This increase was primarily attributable to new sales growth in the life, accident and supplemental health insurance operations, particularly in Taiwan and South Korea, and membership growth in the expatriate employee benefits business.
To exclude the effect of foreign currency movements, premiums and fees were calculated using the prior years’ comparable period exchange rates, allowing foreign currency neutral comparison to the prior years’ reported premiums and fees.
Net investment income decreased by 13% in 2009 compared with 2008. The decrease was primarily due to unfavorable foreign currency movements, particularly in South Korea. Net investment income increased by 3% in 2008 compared with 2007. The increase was primarily due to higher asset levels offset by unfavorable foreign currency movements.
Benefits and Expenses
Benefits and expenses increased by 2% in 2009, compared with 2008. The increase was primarily driven by higher loss ratios, business growth and increased amortization of deferred acquisition costs, partially offset by foreign currency movements.
Benefits and expenses increased by 4% in 2008 compared with 2007, primarily due to business growth in all lines of business, partially offset by foreign currency movements, primarily in South Korea. Loss ratios decreased in 2008 in the life, accident and supplemental health business due to favorable claims experience.
Expense ratios decreased in 2009 reflecting effective expense management. Expense ratios increased slightly in 2008 in the life, accident and supplemental health business and the expatriate benefits business as a result of higher expenses to support growth initiatives and expansion. Expense ratios in the life, accident and health and expatriate benefits businesses continue to be strong due to effective expense management.
Other Items Affecting International Results
For the Company’s International segment, South Korea is the single largest geographic market. South Korea generated 29% of the segment’s revenues and 49% of the segment’s earnings in 2009. Due to the concentration of business in South Korea, the International segment is exposed to potential losses resulting from economic and geopolitical developments in that country, as well as foreign currency movements affecting the South Korean currency, which could have a significant impact on the segment’s results and the Company’s consolidated financial results.

 

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Run-off Reinsurance Segment
Segment Description
The Company’s reinsurance operations were discontinued and are now an inactive business in run-off mode since the sale of the U.S. individual life, group life and accidental death reinsurance business in 2000. This segment is predominantly comprised of GMDB, GMIB, workers’ compensation and personal accident reinsurance products.
The determination of liabilities for GMDB and GMIB requires the Company to make critical accounting estimates. In 2008, the Company updated the assumptions for GMIB and the effects of hypothetical changes in those assumptions in connection with the implementation of the FASB’s fair value disclosure and measurement guidance (ASC 820). The Company describes the assumptions used to develop the reserves for GMDB in Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and for the assets and liabilities associated with GMIB in Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. The Company also provides the effects of hypothetical changes in those assumptions in the Critical Accounting Estimates section of the MD&A beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K.
The Company excludes the results of the GMIB business from adjusted income from operations because the fair value of GMIB assets and liabilities must be recalculated each quarter using updated capital market assumptions. The resulting changes in fair value, which are reported in shareholders’ net income, are volatile and unpredictable. See the “Critical Accounting Estimates” section of the MD&A beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K for more information on the effect of capital market assumption changes on shareholders’ net income.
Results of Operations
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Premiums and fees
  $ 29     $ 43     $ 60  
Net investment income
    113       104       93  
Other revenues
    (283 )     331       (47 )
 
                 
Segment revenues
    (141 )     478       106  
Benefits and expenses
    (419 )     1,499       160  
 
                 
Income (loss) before income taxes (benefits)
    278       (1,021 )     (54 )
Income taxes (benefits)
    93       (375 )     (43 )
 
                 
Segment earnings (loss)
    185       (646 )     (11 )
Less: results of GMIB business (after-tax) included in segment earnings (loss):
                       
Charge on adoption of fair value measurements for GMIB contracts
          (131 )      
Results of GMIB business excluding charge on adoption
    209       (306 )     (91 )
 
                 
Adjusted income (loss) from operations
  $ (24 )   $ (209 )   $ 80  
 
                 
Realized investment gains (losses), net of taxes
  $ (2 )   $ (19 )   $ 2  
 
                 
Overview of 2009 Results
Overall segment results, including GMIB, improved significantly in 2009 compared with 2008. Segment earnings were favorably affected by substantially higher results from the GMIB business reflecting improved equity markets and generally higher interest rates. In addition, adjusted income from operations for Run-off Reinsurance improved significantly in 2009 compared with 2008 due to significantly reduced losses in the GMDB business ($52 million after-tax for 2009, compared with $267 million for 2008) resulting from a substantially lower amount of reserve strengthening. The improvement in GMDB results in 2009 primarily reflected the recovery and stabilization of the financial markets. Adjusted income from operations also included the favorable after-tax impact of reserve studies for the workers compensation and personal accident business of $16 million in 2009 and $30 million in 2008.

 

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Overview of 2008 Results
Segment loss for 2008 reflected significant losses from the GMIB business of $437 million, including a charge of $131 million related to the implementation of new fair value accounting guidance in 2008. Excluding this charge, GMIB losses in 2008 primarily reflected the declines in equity market and interest rates and increased market volatility.
In addition, adjusted loss from operations for Run-off Reinsurance was significantly higher in 2008 primarily reflecting a loss in the GMDB business of $267 million after-tax primarily reflecting reserve strengthening. This loss was primarily related to declines in equity markets and interest rates and increased market volatility. Adjusted loss from operations for Run-off Reinsurance in 2008 compared with 2007 was also negatively impacted by reduced favorable settlement activity related to personal accident and workers’ compensation.
See the Benefits and Expenses section for further discussion around the results of the GMIB and GMDB businesses.
Other Revenues
Other revenues included pre-tax losses of $282 million in 2009 from futures contracts used in the GMDB equity hedge program (see Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements), compared with pre-tax gains of $333 million in 2008 and pre-tax losses of $32 million in 2007. Amounts reflecting corresponding changes in liabilities for GMDB contracts were included in benefits and expenses consistent with GAAP when a premium deficiency exists (see below “Other Benefits and Expenses”). The Company held futures contract positions related to this program with a notional amount of $1.0 billion at December 31, 2009.
Benefits and Expenses
Benefits and expenses were comprised of the following:
                         
(In millions)   2009     2008     2007  
GMIB (income) expense
  $ (304 )   $ 690     $ 147  
Other benefits and expenses
    (115 )     809       13  
 
                 
Benefits and expenses
  $ (419 )   $ 1,499     $ 160  
 
                 
GMIB (Income) Expense. Under the GAAP guidance for fair value measurements, the Company’s results of operations are expected to be volatile in future periods because capital market assumptions needed to estimate the assets and liabilities for the GMIB business are based largely on market-observable inputs at the close of each reporting period including interest rates (LIBOR swap curve) and market-implied volatilities. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information about assumptions and asset and liability balances related to GMIB.
For 2009 the pre-tax income for GMIB was $304 million, and was primarily due to the following factors:
  increases in interest rates: $248 million;
  increases in underlying account values in the period, driven by favorable equity market and bond fund returns, resulting in reduced exposures: $98 million;
  specific adjustments to nonperformance risk for the Company net of nonperformance risk of its reinsurers: $16 million; and
  updates to the risk and profit charge estimates: $30 million.
These favorable effects were partially offset by:
  higher than expected claim experience: $26 million;
  increases to the annuitization assumption, reflecting higher utilization experience: $21 million;
  updates to the lapse assumption: $14 million;
  updates to fund correlation assumptions: $4 million; and
  other amounts, including experience varying from assumptions, model and in-force updates: $23 million.

 

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GMIB expense in 2008 includes a pre-tax charge of $202 million for the adoption of the FASB’s fair value disclosure and measurement guidance, which is discussed in Notes 2(B) and 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Excluding the charge on adoption of the FASB’s fair value disclosure and measurement guidance, the GMIB business generated additional pre-tax expense of $488 million in 2008 primarily as a result of:
  decreases in interest rates since December 31, 2007: $232 million;
  the impact of declines in underlying account values in the period, driven by declines in equity markets and bond fund returns during 2008, resulting in increased exposure: $158 million;
  updates to the risk and profit charge estimate: $50 million;
  updates to other assumptions that are used in the fair value calculation: $25 million; and
  other amounts including the compounding effects of declines in interest rates and equity markets, as well as experience varying from assumptions: $23 million.
Excluding the charge to update assumptions for annuity elections and lapse rates, the GMIB business generated additional pre-tax expense of $61 million in 2007, primarily the result of unfavorable annuitization and lapse experience.
The GMIB liabilities and related assets are calculated using a complex internal model and assumptions from the viewpoint of a hypothetical market participant. This resulting liability (and related asset) is higher than the Company believes will ultimately be required to settle claims primarily because market-observable interest rates are used to project growth in account values of the underlying mutual funds to estimate fair value from the viewpoint of a hypothetical market participant. The Company’s payments for GMIB claims are expected to occur over the next 15 to 20 years and will be based on actual values of the underlying mutual funds and the 7-year Treasury rate at the dates benefits are elected. Management does not believe that current market-observable interest rates reflect actual growth expected for the underlying mutual funds over that timeframe, and therefore believes that the recorded liability and related asset do not represent what management believes will ultimately be required as this business runs off.
However, significant declines in mutual fund values that underlie the contracts (increasing the exposure to the Company) together with declines in the 7-year treasury rates (used to determine claim payments) similar to what occurred during 2008 would increase the expected amount of claims that would be paid out for contractholders who choose to annuitize. It is also possible that such unfavorable market conditions would have an impact on the level of contractholder annuitizations, particularly if these unfavorable market conditions persisted for an extended period.
Other Benefits and Expenses. Other benefits and expenses reflected income for 2009, compared to expense during 2008. This fluctuation reflects the impact of significant improvements in the equity markets on guaranteed minimum death benefit contracts, compared with equity market declines during 2008. Equity market improvements result in increases in the underlying annuity account values, which decreases the exposure under the contracts. Equity market declines result in decreases in the underlying annuity account values, which increases the exposure under the contracts. These changes in benefits expense are partially offset by futures gains and losses, discussed in Other Revenues above.
Although 2009 benefit expenses included reserve strengthening of $73 million ($47 million after-tax) to increase GMDB reserves, no additional reserve strengthening was required for GMDB after the first quarter, primarily due to the stabilization and recovery of equity markets. The components of the first quarter reserve strengthening were:
  adverse impacts of overall market declines of $50 million ($32 million after-tax). This includes (a) $39 million ($25 million after-tax) primarily related to the provision for future partial surrenders and (b) $11 million ($7 million after-tax) related to declines in the values of contractholders’ non-equity investments such as bond funds, neither of which is included in the GMDB equity hedge program;
  adverse volatility-related impacts of $11 million ($7 million after-tax) due to turbulent equity market conditions, including higher than expected claims and the performance of the diverse mix of equity fund investments held by contractholders being different than expected; and
  adverse interest rate impacts of $12 million ($8 million after-tax). Interest rate risk is not covered by the GMDB equity hedge program, and the interest rate returns on the futures contracts were less than the Company’s long-term assumption for mean investment performance.

 

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During 2008, the Company recorded additional other benefits expenses of $412 million ($267 million after-tax) primarily to strengthen GMDB reserves following an analysis of experience and reserve assumptions. These amounts were due to:
  adverse impacts of overall market declines of $210 million ($136 million after-tax). This includes (a) $185 million ($120 million after-tax) related to the provision for partial surrenders, including $40 million ($26 million after-tax) for an increase in the assumed election rates for future partial surrenders and (b) $25 million ($16 million after-tax) related to declines in the values of contractholders’ non-equity investments such as bond funds, neither of which is included in the GMDB equity hedge program;
  adverse volatility-related impacts due to turbulent equity market conditions. Volatility risk is not covered by the GMDB equity hedge program. Also, the equity market volatility, particularly during the second half of the year, impacted the effectiveness of the hedge program. In aggregate, these volatility-related impacts totaled $182 million ($118 million after-tax). The GMDB equity hedge program is designed so that changes in the value of a portfolio of actively managed futures contracts will offset changes in the liability resulting from equity market movements. In periods of equity market declines, the liability will increase; the program is designed to produce gains on the futures contracts to offset the increase in the liability. However, the program will not perfectly offset the change in the liability, in part because the market does not offer futures contracts that exactly match the diverse mix of equity fund investments held by contractholders, and because there is a time lag between changes in underlying contractholder mutual funds, and corresponding changes in the hedge position. In 2008, the impact of this mismatch was higher than most prior periods due to the relatively large changes in market indices from day to day. In addition, the number of futures contracts used in the program is adjusted only when certain tolerances are exceeded and in periods of highly volatile equity markets when actual volatility exceeds the expected volatility assumed in the liability calculation, losses will result. These conditions have had an adverse impact on earnings, and during 2008, the increase in the liability due to equity market movements was only partially offset by the results of the futures contracts; and
  adverse interest rate impacts. Interest rate risk is not covered by the GMDB equity hedge program, and the interest rate returns on the futures contracts were less than the Company’s long-term assumption for mean investment performance generating an additional $14 million ($9 million after-tax).
See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information about assumptions and reserve balances related to GMDB.
Segment Summary
The Company’s payment obligations for underlying reinsurance exposures assumed by the Company under these contracts are based on ceding companies’ claim payments. For GMDB and GMIB, claim payments vary because of changes in equity markets and interest rates, as well as mortality and policyholder behavior. For workers’ compensation and personal accident, the claim payments relate to accidents and injuries. Any of these claim payments can extend many years into the future, and the amount of the ceding companies’ ultimate claims, and therefore the amount of the Company’s ultimate payment obligations and corresponding ultimate collection from retrocessionaires may not be known with certainty for some time.
The Company’s reserves for underlying reinsurance exposures assumed by the Company, as well as for amounts recoverable from retrocessionaires, are considered appropriate as of December 31, 2009, based on current information. However, it is possible that future developments, which could include but are not limited to worse than expected claim experience and higher than expected volatility, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations and could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition. The Company bears the risk of loss if its payment obligations to cedents increase or if its retrocessionaires are unable to meet, or successfully challenge, their reinsurance obligations to the Company.

 

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Other Operations Segment
Segment Description
Other Operations consist of:
  non-leveraged and leveraged corporate-owned life insurance (“COLI”);
  deferred gains recognized from the 1998 sale of the individual life insurance and annuity business and the 2004 sale of the retirement benefits business; and
  run-off settlement annuity business.
COLI has contributed the majority of the earnings in 2009, 2008 and 2007 for Other Operations. Federal legislation enacted in 1996 affected certain policies sold by the COLI business by eliminating on a prospective basis the tax deduction for policy loan interest for most leveraged COLI products. There have been no sales of this particular product since 1997. As a result of an Internal Revenue Service initiative to settle tax disputes regarding leveraged products, some customers have surrendered their policies and management expects earnings associated with these products to continue to decline. Management does not expect this initiative to have a significant impact on the future operating results of the segment.
Results of Operations
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Premiums and fees
  $ 112     $ 113     $ 108  
Net investment income
    407       414       437  
Other revenues
    64       71       82  
 
                 
Segment revenues
    583       598       627  
Benefits and expenses
    466       468       473  
 
                 
Income before taxes
    117       130       154  
Income taxes
    31       43       45  
 
                 
Segment earnings
    86       87       109  
Less: special items (after-tax) included in segment earnings:
                       
Completion of IRS examination (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    1             5  
 
                 
Adjusted income from operations
  $ 85     $ 87     $ 104  
 
                 
Realized investment (losses), net of taxes
  $ (6 )   $ (27 )   $ (2 )
 
                 
Adjusted income from operations for Other Operations declined in 2009 compared with 2008, reflecting a continued decline in deferred gain amortization associated with the sold businesses offset by increased COLI earnings driven by higher investment income and improved operating expenses.
Adjusted income from operations for Other Operations declined in 2008 compared with 2007, reflecting lower results from the COLI business driven by less favorable mortality and lower interest margins. Interest margins decreased due to the movement of assets from the general account to separate accounts, and lower interest rates. In addition, the continuing decline in deferred gain amortization associated with sold businesses contributed to lower earnings.
Revenues
Net investment income. Net investment income decreased 2% in 2009 compared with 2008, primarily reflecting lower average invested assets and lower real estate income. Net investment income decreased 5% in 2008 compared with 2007 primarily reflecting lower average invested assets due in part to the movement of assets from the general account to separate accounts in the COLI business as well as lower interest rates.
Other revenues. Other revenues decreased 10% in 2009 compared with 2008 and decreased 13% in 2008 compared with 2007 primarily due to lower deferred gain amortization related to the sold retirement benefits and individual life insurance and annuity businesses. The amount of the deferred gain amortization recorded was $32 million in 2009, $38 million in 2008 and $47 million in 2007.

 

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Corporate
Description
Corporate reflects amounts not allocated to other segments, such as net interest expense (defined as interest on corporate debt less net investment income on investments not supporting segment operations), interest on uncertain tax positions, certain litigation matters, intersegment eliminations, compensation cost for stock options and certain corporate overhead expenses such as directors’ expenses.
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Segment loss
  $ (142 )   $ (162 )   $ (97 )
Less: special items (after-tax) included in segment loss:
                       
Charge related to litigation matter (See Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
          (52 )      
Completion of IRS examination (See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements)
    12             10  
 
                 
Adjusted loss from operations
  $ (154 )   $ (110 )   $ (107 )
 
                 
Corporate’s adjusted loss from operations was higher in 2009, compared with 2008, primarily reflecting:
  higher net interest expense attributable to lower average invested assets and increased debt used for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of some of the Company’s outstanding commercial paper issued to finance the acquired business;
  higher directors’ deferred compensation expenses caused by an increase in the Company’s stock price during 2009 compared with a decrease during 2008; and
  spending on certain strategic initiatives.
Corporate’s adjusted loss from operations was higher in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily reflecting higher net interest expense attributable to lower average invested assets and increased debt to finance the acquired business. These factors were partially offset by lower directors’ deferred compensation expenses caused by a decline in the Company’s stock price in 2008.
DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS
Description
Discontinued operations represent results associated with certain investments or businesses that have been sold or are held for sale.
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Income before income (taxes) benefits
  $     $ 3     $ 25  
Income (taxes) benefits
    1       1       (7 )
 
                 
Income from operations
    1       4       18  
Impairment loss, net of tax
                (23 )
 
                 
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes
  $ 1     $ 4     $ (5 )
 
                 
Discontinued operations for 2009 primarily represents a tax benefit from a past divestiture resolved at the completion of the 2005 and 2006 IRS examinations.
Discontinued operations for 2008 primarily represents a gain of $3 million after-tax from the settlement of certain issues related to a past divestiture.

 

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Discontinued operations for 2007 primarily reflects:
  impairment losses related to the dispositions of several Latin American insurance operations as discussed in Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements; and
  realized gains on the disposition of certain directly-owned real estate investments as discussed in Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS AND OTHER MATTERS
Proposed Health Care Reform
Addressing the affordability and availability of health insurance, including reducing the number of uninsured, is a major initiative of President Obama and the U.S. Congress, and proposals that may address these issues are pending in the U.S. Congress. The proposals vary and include measures that would change the dynamics of the health care industry and/or the employer’s role in the provision of benefits, such as the potential creation of a new government-run health plan(s) that would compete with the Company and other private health plans; the potential creation of federal or state-level exchanges (or similar constructs) that could serve as a distribution mechanism and/or additional regulatory structure for certain segments of the health care market; potential changes to medical coverage, such as expansion of eligibility under existing public programs, minimum medical benefit ratios for health plans, and mandatory issuance of insurance coverage; requirements that would limit the ability of health plans and insurers to vary premiums based on assessments of underlying risk; and new taxes and assessments specific to health care insurers and/or certain benefit plan designs. Any comprehensive health care reform package enacted will likely be phased in over a number of years and would be subject to a broader regulatory process. Because of the unsettled nature of these initiatives and the numerous steps required to implement them the Company remains uncertain as to the ultimate impact these changes will have on its business. For additional discussion regarding our risks related to health care reform, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” beginning on page 35 of this Form 10-K.
Other Matters
The disability industry is under continuing review by regulators and legislators with respect to its offset practices regarding Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”). There has been specific inquiry as to the industry’s role in providing assistance to individuals with their applications for SSDI. The Company has received one Congressional inquiry and has responded to the information request. Also, legislation prohibiting the offset of SSDI payments against private disability insurance payments for prospectively issued policies was introduced but not enacted in the Connecticut state legislature. The Company is also involved in related pending litigation. If the industry is forced to change its offset SSDI procedures, the practices and products for the Company’s Disability and Life segment could be significantly impacted.
In 1998, the Company sold its individual life insurance and annuity business to The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (“Lincoln”). Because this business was sold in an indemnity reinsurance transaction, the Company is not relieved of primary liability for the reinsured business and had reinsurance recoverables totaling $4.4 billion as of December 31, 2009. Lincoln has secured approximately 90% of its reinsurance obligations under these arrangements by placing assets into a trust which qualifies under Regulation 114 of the New York Insurance Department.
The Company’s remaining reinsurance recoverables from Lincoln are unsecured. If Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and Lincoln Life & Annuity of New York do not maintain a specified financial strength rating, at the Company’s request, Lincoln is contractually required to provide additional assurance that it will meet its reinsurance obligations, to include placing assets in a trust to secure these remaining reinsurance recoverables. S&P has assigned each of these reinsurers a rating of AA-.

 

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LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
                         
(In millions)                  
Financial Summary   2009     2008     2007  
Short-term investments
  $ 493     $ 236     $ 21  
Cash and cash equivalents
  $ 924     $ 1,342     $ 1,970  
Short-term debt
  $ 104     $ 301     $ 3  
Long-term debt
  $ 2,436     $ 2,090     $ 1,790  
Shareholders’ equity
  $ 5,417     $ 3,592     $ 4,748  
Liquidity
The Company maintains liquidity at two levels: the subsidiary level and the parent company level.
Liquidity requirements at the subsidiary level generally consist of:
  claim and benefit payments to policyholders; and
 
  operating expense requirements, primarily for employee compensation and benefits.
The Company’s subsidiaries normally meet their operating requirements by:
 
  maintaining appropriate levels of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments;
 
  using cash flows from operating activities;
 
  selling investments;
 
  matching investment durations to those estimated for the related insurance and contractholder liabilities; and
 
  borrowing from its parent company.
Liquidity requirements at the parent level generally consist of:
  debt service and dividend payments to shareholders; and
 
  pension plan funding.
The parent normally meets its liquidity requirements by:
  maintaining appropriate levels of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments;
 
  collecting dividends from its subsidiaries;
 
  using proceeds from issuance of debt and equity securities; and
 
  borrowing from its subsidiaries.
Cash flows for the years ended December 31, were as follows:
                         
(In millions)   2009     2008     2007  
Operating activities
  $ 745     $ 1,656     $ 1,342  
Investing activities
  $ (1,485 )   $ (2,572 )   $ 269  
Financing activities
  $ 307     $ 314     $ (1,041 )
Cash flows from operating activities consist of cash receipts and disbursements for premiums and fees, mail order pharmacy and other revenues, gains (losses) recognized in connection with the Company’s GMDB equity hedge program, investment income, taxes, and benefits and expenses.
Because certain income and expense transactions do not generate cash, and because cash transactions related to revenue and expenses may occur in periods different from when those revenues and expenses are recognized in shareholders’ net income, cash flows from operating activities can be significantly different from shareholders’ net income.

 

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Cash flows from investing activities generally consist of net investment purchases or sales and net purchases of property and equipment, which includes capitalized software, as well as cash used to acquire businesses.
Cash flows from financing activities are generally comprised of issuances and re-payment of debt at the parent level, proceeds on the issuance of common stock resulting from stock option exercises, and stock repurchases. In addition, the subsidiaries report net deposits/withdrawals to/from investment contract liabilities (which include universal life insurance liabilities) because such liabilities are considered financing activities with policyholders.
2009:
Operating activities
For the year ended December 31, 2009, cash flows from operating activities were less than net income by $560 million. Net income contains certain after-tax non-cash income and expense items, including:
  GMIB income of $209 million;
 
  a curtailment gain of $30 million, net of a cost reduction charge of $29 million;
 
  tax benefits related to the IRS examination of $20 million;
 
  depreciation and amortization charges of $174 million; and
 
  realized investment losses of $26 million.
Cash flows from operating activities were lower than net income excluding the non-cash items noted above by $530 million. This decrease was primarily due to pre-tax cash outflows of $282 million associated with the GMDB equity hedge program which did not affect shareholders’ net income and pre-tax contributions to the domestic pension plans of approximately $410 million, partially offset by the favorable effect of the pension contributions on tax payments.
Cash flows from operating activities decreased by $911 million in 2009 compared with 2008. Excluding the results of the GMDB equity hedge program (which did not affect net income), cash flows from operating activities decreased by $296 million. This decrease in 2009 primarily reflects pre-tax contributions to the qualified domestic pension plan of approximately $410 million for 2009 compared with none for 2008, partially offset by the favorable effect of the pension contributions on tax payments.
Investing activities
Cash used in investing activities was $1.5 billion. This use of cash primarily consisted of net purchases of investments of $1.2 billion and net purchases of property and equipment of $307 million.
Financing activities
Cash provided from financing activities primarily consisted of net proceeds from the issuance of long-term debt of $346 million, partially offset by repayments of short-term debt, principally commercial paper, of $199 million. Financing activities also included net deposits to contractholder deposit funds of $89 million and proceeds on issuances of common stock of $30 million.

 

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2008:
Operating activities
For the year ended December 31, 2008, cash flows from operating activities were greater than net income by $1.4 billion. Net income contains certain after-tax non-cash income and expense items, including:
  GMIB expense of $437 million including the effect of adoption of new fair value measurement guidance of $131 million;
 
  GMDB charges of $267 million;
 
  litigation accruals of $76 million and cost reduction charges of $35 million;
 
  depreciation and amortization charges of $159 million; and
 
  realized investment losses of $110 million.
Cash flows from operating activities were higher than net income excluding the non-cash items noted above by $278 million. This increase was primarily due to cash inflows associated with the GMDB equity hedge program of $333 million.
Cash flows from operating activities increased by $314 million in 2008 compared with 2007. Excluding the results of the GMDB equity hedge program (which did not affect net income), cash flows from operating activities decreased by $51 million. This decrease in 2008 primarily reflects higher payments for certain prepaid expenses in 2008.
Investing activities
Cash used in investing activities was $2.6 billion, consisting of $1.3 billion to fund the acquisition of Great-West Healthcare, net purchases of investments of $988 million and net purchases of property and equipment of $257 million.
Financing activities
Cash provided from financing activities primarily consisted of proceeds from the net issuance of short-term debt of $298 million and long-term debt of $297 million. These borrowing arrangements were entered into for general corporate purposes, including the financing of the acquisition of Great-West Healthcare. Financing activities also included net deposits to contractholder deposit funds of $91 million, proceeds from the issuance of common stock under the Company’s stock plans of $37 million and dividends on and repurchases of common stock of $392 million.
Interest Expense
Interest expense on long-term debt, short-term debt and capital leases was as follows:
                         
(In millions)   2009     2008     2007  
Interest expense
  $ 166     $ 146     $ 122  
                   
The increase in interest expense in 2009 was primarily due to the issuance of debt used for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of some of the Company’s outstanding commercial paper issued to finance the acquired business.
The increase in 2008 was primarily due to the issuance of debt in connection with the Great-West Healthcare acquisition.

 

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Capital Resources
The Company’s capital resources (primarily retained earnings and the proceeds from the issuance of debt and equity securities) provide protection for policyholders, furnish the financial strength to underwrite insurance risks and facilitate continued business growth.
Management, guided by regulatory requirements and rating agency capital guidelines, determines the amount of capital resources that the Company maintains. Management allocates resources to new long-term business commitments when returns, considering the risks, look promising and when the resources available to support existing business are adequate.
The Company prioritizes its use of capital resources to:
  provide capital necessary to support growth and maintain or improve the financial strength ratings of subsidiaries;
  consider acquisitions that are strategically and economically advantageous; and
  return capital to investors through share repurchase.
The availability of capital resources will be impacted by equity and credit market conditions. Extreme volatility in credit or equity market conditions may reduce the Company’s ability to issue debt or equity securities. Significant volatility and deterioration of the equity markets during 2008 resulted in reduced retained earnings and the capital available for growth, acquisitions, and share repurchase.
On May 4, 2009, the Company issued $350 million of 8.50% Notes ($349 million, net of debt discount, with an effective interest rate of 9.90% per year). The difference between the stated and effective interest rates primarily reflects the effect of treasury locks. See Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information. Interest is payable on May 1 and November 1 of each year beginning November 1, 2009. The proceeds of this debt were used for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of some of the Company’s outstanding commercial paper. These Notes will mature on May 1, 2019.
On March 4, 2008, the Company issued $300 million of 6.35% Notes (with an effective interest rate of 6.68% per year). The difference between the stated and effective interest rates primarily reflects the effect of treasury locks. Interest is payable on March 15 and September 15 of each year beginning September 15, 2008. The proceeds of this debt were used for general corporate purposes, including financing the acquisition of Great-West Healthcare. These Notes will mature on March 15, 2018.
The Company may redeem these Notes, at any time, in whole or in part, at a redemption price equal to the greater of:
  100% of the principal amount of the Notes to be redeemed; or
  the present value of the remaining principal and interest payments on the Notes being redeemed discounted at the applicable Treasury Rate plus 50 basis points (8.5% Notes due 2019) or 40 basis points (6.35% Notes due 2018).
On March 14, 2008, the Company entered into a commercial paper program (“the Program”). Under the Program, the Company is authorized to sell from time to time short-term unsecured commercial paper notes up to a maximum of $500 million. The proceeds are used for general corporate purposes, including working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and share repurchases. The Company uses the credit facility described below as back-up liquidity to support the outstanding commercial paper. If at any time funds are not available on favorable terms under the Program, the Company may use the Credit Agreement (see below) for funding. In October 2008, the Company added an additional dealer to its Program. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had $100 million in commercial paper outstanding, at a weighted average interest rate of 0.35% and remaining maturities ranging from 11 to 35 days.
In June 2007, the Company amended and restated its five-year committed revolving credit and letter of credit agreement for $1.75 billion, which permits up to $1.25 billion to be used for letters of credit. This agreement is diversified among 22 banks, with three banks each having 11% of the commitment and the other 21 banks having the remaining 67% of the commitment. The credit agreement includes options, which are subject to consent by the administrative agent and the committing banks, to increase the commitment amount up to $2.0 billion and to extend the term of the agreement. The Company entered into the agreement for general corporate purposes, including support for the issuance of commercial paper and to obtain statutory reserve credit for certain reinsurance arrangements. There was a $27 million letter of credit issued as of December 31, 2009.

 

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Liquidity and Capital Resources Outlook
At December 31, 2009, there was approximately $475 million in cash available at the parent company level. In 2010, the parent company’s debt service consists of scheduled interest payments of $168 million on outstanding long-term debt of $2.4 billion at December 31, 2009 and approximately $100 million of commercial paper that will mature over the next three months. There are no scheduled long-term debt repayments in 2010. The Company expects to either repay the commercial paper or refinance it either by issuing long-term debt or re-issuing commercial paper.
The Company funds its qualified pension plans at least at the minimum amount required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and the Pension Protection Act of 2006. For 2010, the Company expects minimum required contributions to be approximately $70 million. This amount could change based on final valuation amounts. In addition, the Company currently plans to make voluntary contributions of approximately $140 million during 2010. Based on its current funded status, the Company does not believe that the litigation matter discussed in Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements would have an impact on 2010 funding requirements even if resolved in 2010. Future years’ contributions will ultimately be based on a wide range of factors including but not limited to asset returns, discount rates, and funding targets.
The availability of resources at the parent company level is partially dependent on dividends from the Company’s subsidiaries, most of which are subject to regulatory restrictions and rating agency capital guidelines, and partially dependent on the availability of liquidity from the issuance of debt or equity securities.
The Company expects, based on current projections for cash activity, to have sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations.
However, the Company’s cash projections may not be realized and the demand for funds could exceed available cash if:
  ongoing businesses experience unexpected shortfalls in earnings;
 
  regulatory restrictions or rating agency capital guidelines reduce the amount of dividends available to be distributed to the parent company from the insurance and HMO subsidiaries (including the impact of equity market deterioration and volatility on subsidiary capital);
 
  significant disruption or volatility in the capital and credit markets reduces the Company’s ability to raise capital or creates unexpected losses related to the GMDB and GMIB businesses;
 
  a substantial increase in funding over current projections is required for the Company’s pension plan; or
 
  a substantial increase in funding is required for the Company’s GMDB equity hedge program.

 

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In those cases, the Company expects to have the flexibility to satisfy liquidity needs through a variety of measures, including intercompany borrowings and sales of liquid investments. The parent company may borrow up to $400 million from CGLIC without prior state approval. In addition, the Company may use short-term borrowings, such as the commercial paper program and the committed line of credit agreement of up to $1.75 billion subject to the maximum debt leverage covenant in its line of credit agreement. As of December 31, 2009, the Company had an additional $1.5 billion of borrowing capacity within the maximum debt leverage covenant in the line of credit agreement in addition to the $2.5 billion of debt outstanding.
Though the Company believes it has adequate sources of liquidity, significant disruption or volatility in the capital and credit markets could affect the Company’s ability to access those markets for additional borrowings or increase costs associated with borrowing funds.
Solvency regulation. Many states have adopted some form of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) model solvency-related laws and risk-based capital rules (“RBC rules”) for life and health insurance companies. The RBC rules recommend a minimum level of capital depending on the types and quality of investments held, the types of business written and the types of liabilities incurred. If the ratio of the insurer’s adjusted surplus to its risk-based capital falls below statutory required minimums, the insurer could be subject to regulatory actions ranging from increased scrutiny to conservatorship.
In addition, various non-U.S. jurisdictions prescribe minimum surplus requirements that are based upon solvency, liquidity and reserve coverage measures. During 2009, the Company’s HMOs and life and health insurance subsidiaries, as well as non-U.S. insurance subsidiaries, were compliant with applicable RBC and non-U.S. surplus rules.
Effective December 31, 2009 the Company’s principal life insurance subsidiary, CGLIC, implemented the NAIC’s Actuarial Guideline XLIII (also known as AG 43 or VACARVM), which is applicable to CGLIC’s statutory reserves for GMDB and GMIB contracts totaling $1.6 billion as of December 31, 2009. As provided under this guidance, CGLIC received approval from the State of Connecticut to grade-in the full effect of the guideline over a 3-year period. Accordingly, upon implementation at December 31, 2009, statutory surplus for CGLIC was reduced by $40 million. If the guidance had been fully implemented at December 31, 2009, statutory surplus would have been reduced by $110 million. Management does not anticipate that this implementation will have a material impact on the amount of dividends expected to be paid by CGLIC to the parent company in 2010. This implementation has no impact on measurement of the Company’s results of operations or financial condition as determined under GAAP.
Guarantees and Contractual Obligations
The Company is contingently liable for various contractual obligations entered into in the ordinary course of business. The maturities of the Company’s primary contractual cash obligations, as of December 31, 2009, are estimated to be as follows:
                                         
(In millions, on an           Less than 1     1-3     4-5     After 5  
undiscounted basis)   Total     year     years     years     years  
On-Balance Sheet:
                                       
Insurance liabilities:
                                       
Contractholder deposit funds
  $ 7,613     $ 667     $ 840     $ 769     $ 5,337  
Future policy benefits
    11,040       452       852       860       8,876  
Health Care medical claims payable
    921       914       7              
Unpaid claims and claims expenses
    4,315       1,292       941       606       1,476  
Short-term debt
    103       103                    
Long-term debt
    4,620       168       753       278       3,421  
Non-recourse obligations
    25       2       23              
Other long-term liabilities
    1,355       617       218       134       386  
Off-Balance Sheet:
                                       
Purchase obligations
    1,173       495       483       144       51  
Operating leases
    500       116       190       104       90  
 
                             
Total
  $ 31,665     $ 4,826     $ 4,307     $ 2,895     $ 19,637  
 
                             

 

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On-Balance Sheet:
  Insurance liabilities. Contractual cash obligations for insurance liabilities, excluding unearned premiums and fees, represent estimated net benefit payments for health, life and disability insurance policies and annuity contracts. Recorded contractholder deposit funds reflect current fund balances primarily from universal life customers. Contractual cash obligations for these universal life contracts are estimated by projecting future payments using assumptions for lapse, withdrawal and mortality. These projected future payments include estimated future interest crediting on current fund balances based on current investment yields less the estimated cost of insurance charges and mortality and administrative fees. Actual obligations in any single year will vary based on actual morbidity, mortality, lapse, withdrawal, investment and premium experience. The sum of the obligations presented above exceeds the corresponding insurance and contractholder liabilities of $15.3 billion recorded on the balance sheet because the recorded insurance liabilities reflect discounting for interest and the recorded contractholder liabilities exclude future interest crediting, charges and fees. The Company manages its investment portfolios to generate cash flows needed to satisfy contractual obligations. Any shortfall from expected investment yields could result in increases to recorded reserves and adversely impact results of operations. The amounts associated with the sold retirement benefits and individual life insurance and annuity businesses are excluded from the table above as net cash flows associated with them are not expected to impact the Company. The total amount of these reinsured reserves excluded is approximately $6.2 billion.
  Short-term debt represents commercial paper and current obligations under capital leases.
  Long-term debt includes scheduled interest payments. Capital leases are included in long-term debt and represent obligations for software licenses.
  Nonrecourse obligations represent principal and interest payments due which may be limited to the value of specified assets, such as real estate properties held directly or in joint ventures.
  Other long-term liabilities. These items are presented in accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities in the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets. This table includes estimated payments for GMIB contracts, pension and other postretirement and postemployment benefit obligations, supplemental and deferred compensation plans, interest rate and foreign currency swap contracts, and certain tax and reinsurance liabilities.
Estimated payments of $127 million for deferred compensation, non-qualified and International pension plans and other postretirement and postemployment benefit plans are expected to be paid in less than one year. The Company’s best estimate is that contributions to the qualified domestic pension plan during 2010 will be approximately $210 million. The Company expects to make payments subsequent to 2010 for these obligations, however subsequent payments have been excluded from the table as their timing is based on plan assumptions which may materially differ from actual activities (see Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on pension and other postretirement benefit obligations).
The above table also does not contain $214 million of gross liabilities for uncertain tax positions because the Company cannot reasonably estimate the timing of their resolution with the respective taxing authorities. See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2009 for further information.
Off-Balance Sheet:
  Purchase obligations. As of December 31, 2009, purchase obligations consisted of estimated payments required under contractual arrangements for future services and investment commitments as follows:
         
(In millions)        
Fixed maturities
  $ 72  
Commercial mortgage loans
    41  
Real estate
    10  
Limited liability entities (other long-term investments)
    591  
 
     
Total investment commitments
    714  
Future service commitments
    459  
 
     
Total purchase obligations
  $ 1,173  
 
     

 

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The Company had commitments to invest in limited liability entities that hold real estate, loans to real estate entities or securities. See Note 12(C) to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Future service commitments include an agreement with IBM for various information technology (IT) infrastructure services. The Company’s remaining commitment under this contract is approximately $376 million over the next four years. The Company has the ability to terminate this agreement with 90 days notice, subject to termination fees.
    The Company’s remaining estimated future service commitments primarily represent contracts for certain outsourced business processes and IT maintenance and support. The Company generally has the ability to terminate these agreements, but does not anticipate doing so at this time. Purchase obligations exclude contracts that are cancelable without penalty or those that do not specify minimum levels of goods or services to be purchased.
  Operating leases. For additional information, see Note 21 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Guarantees
The Company, through its subsidiaries, is contingently liable for various financial and other guarantees provided in the ordinary course of business. See Note 23 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on guarantees.
Share Repurchase
The Company maintains a share repurchase program, which was authorized by its Board of Directors. The decision to repurchase shares depends on market conditions and alternative uses of capital. The Company has, and may continue from time to time, to repurchase shares on the open market through a Rule 10b5-1 plan which permits a company to repurchase its shares at times when it otherwise might be precluded from doing so under insider trading laws or because of self-imposed trading blackout periods.
The Company did not repurchase any shares in 2009. In 2008 the Company repurchased 10.0 million shares for $378 million.
The total remaining share repurchase authorization as of February 25, 2010, was $449 million.
INVESTMENT ASSETS
The Company’s investment assets do not include separate account assets. Additional information regarding the Company’s investment assets and related accounting policies is included in Notes 2, 11, 12, 14 and 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Fixed Maturities
Investments in fixed maturities (bonds) include publicly traded and privately placed debt securities, mortgage and other asset-backed securities, preferred stocks redeemable by the investor and trading securities. Fixed maturities and equity securities include hybrid securities. Fair values are based on quoted market prices when available. When market prices are not available, fair value is generally estimated using discounted cash flow analyses, incorporating current market inputs for similar financial instruments with comparable terms and credit quality. In instances where there is little or no market activity for the same or similar instruments, the Company estimates fair value using methods, models and assumptions that the Company believes a hypothetical market participant would use to determine a current transaction price.
The Company performs ongoing analyses on prices to conclude that they represent reasonable estimates of fair value. This process involves quantitative and qualitative analysis and is overseen by the Company’s investment professionals. This process also includes review of pricing methodologies, pricing statistics and trends and back testing recent trades.
The Company’s fixed maturity portfolio continues to be diversified by issuer and industry type, with no single industry constituting more than 10% of total invested assets as of December 31, 2009.

 

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(In millions)   2009     2008  
Federal government and agency
  $ 571     $ 762  
State and local government
    2,521       2,486  
Foreign government
    1,070       944  
Corporate
    8,585       6,856  
Federal agency mortgage-backed
    34       37  
Other mortgage-backed
    121       125  
Other asset-backed
    541       571  
 
           
Total
  $ 13,443     $ 11,781  
 
           
Other mortgage-backed assets consist principally of commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations of which $37 million were residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit, all of which were originated using standard underwriting practices and are not considered sub-prime loans.
Quality ratings
As of December 31, 2009, $12.3 billion, or 92%, of the fixed maturities in the Company’s investment portfolio were investment grade (Baa and above, or equivalent), and the remaining $1.1 billion were below investment grade. Most of the bonds that are below investment grade are rated at the higher end of the non-investment grade spectrum.
Private placement investments are generally less marketable than publicly-traded bonds, but yields on these investments tend to be higher than yields on publicly-traded bonds with comparable credit risk. The fair value of private placement investments was $5.1 billion as of December 31, 2009 and $4.4 billion as of December 31, 2008. The Company maintains controls on its participation in private placement investments. In particular, the Company performs a credit analysis of each issuer, diversifies investments by industry and issuer and requires financial and other covenants that allow the Company to monitor issuers for deteriorating financial strength so the Company can take remedial actions, if warranted.
Because of the higher yields and the inherent risk associated with privately placed investments and below investment grade securities, gains or losses from such investments could affect future results of operations. However, since management matches the duration of assets to the duration of liabilities, it expects to hold a significant portion of these assets for the long term and therefore, does not expect such gains or losses to be material to the Company’s liquidity or financial condition.
The value of the Company’s fixed maturity portfolio increased $574 million in 2009 driven by a decline in market yields. Although asset values have improved significantly, there are securities with amortized cost in excess of fair value by $133 million as of December 31, 2009.
As of December 31, 2009, approximately 64% or $1,605 million of the Company’s total investments in state and local government securities of $2,521 million were guaranteed by monoline bond insurers. The quality ratings of these investments with and without this guaranteed support as of December 31, 2009 were as follows:
                     
        As of December 31, 2009  
        Fair Value  
        With     Without  
(In millions)   Quality Rating   Guarantee     Guarantee  
State and local governments
  Aaa   $ 61     $ 59  
 
  Aa1-Aa3     1,143       971  
 
  A1-A3     341       448  
 
  Baa1-Baa3     60       72  
 
  Not available           55  
 
               
Total state and local governments
      $ 1,605     $ 1,605  
 
               

 

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As of December 31, 2009, approximately 79% or $428 million of the Company’s total investments in other asset-backed securities of $541 million were guaranteed by monoline bond insurers. All of these securities had quality ratings of Baa2 or better. Quality ratings without considering the guarantees for these other asset-backed securities were not available.
As of December 31, 2009, the Company had no direct investments in monoline bond insurers. Guarantees provided by various monoline bond insurers for certain of the Company’s investments in state and local governments and other asset-backed securities as of December 31, 2009 were:
                     
(In millions)   Guarantor Quality           As of December 31, 2009  
Guarantor   Rating           Indirect Exposure  
AMBAC
  Caa2           $ 196  
MBIA, Inc.
  Baa1             1,204  
Financial Securities Assurance
  Aa3             594  
Financial Guaranty Insurance Co.
  Not rated             39  
 
                 
Total
              $ 2,033  
 
                 
The Company continues to underwrite investments in these securities focusing on the underlying issuer’s credit quality, without regard for guarantees. As such, this portfolio of state and local government securities, guaranteed by monoline bond insurers is of high quality with approximately 92% rated A3 or better without their guarantees.
Commercial Mortgage Loans
The Company’s commercial mortgage loans are made exclusively to commercial borrowers. These fixed rate loans are diversified by property type, location and borrower to reduce exposure to potential losses. Loans are secured by the related property and are generally made at less than 75% of the property’s value at origination of the loan. In addition to property value, the Company evaluates the quality of each commercial mortgage loan using “debt service coverage”, which is the ratio of the estimated cash flows from the property to the required loan payments (principal and interest).
The Company completed its annual in depth review of its commercial mortgage loan portfolio in the third quarter of 2009. This review included an analysis of each property’s financial statements as of December 31, 2008, rent rolls and operating plans and budgets for 2009, a physical inspection of the property and other pertinent factors. Based on each property’s value determined during this review, the portfolio’s average loan to value ratio increased from 64% as of December 31, 2008 to 77% at December 31, 2009, driven by an average decline in property values of 18% since completion of the previous review during the third quarter of 2008. This 18% decrease is less than reported declines in commercial real estate values of 20% to 30% from peak prices achieved in late 2006 and into early 2007 to real estate values estimated during the second quarter of 2009. This was driven by management’s decision to not fully reflect peak prices in prior valuations, along with declines in value recognized during the Company’s 2008 portfolio review. In 2009, overall debt service coverage for the portfolio of commercial mortgage loans was approximately 1.5, which was unchanged since the 2008 portfolio review.

 

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The following table reflects the commercial mortgage loan portfolio as of December 31, 2009 summarized by loan to value ratio based on the annual loan review completed in July, 2009.
                                 
Loan to Value Distribution  
    Amortized Cost        
Loan to Value Ratios   Senior     Subordinated     Total     % of Mortgage Loans  
Below 50%
  $ 199     $ 164     $ 363       10 %
50% to 59%
    309             309       9 %
60% to 69%
    383       37       420       12 %
70% to 79%
    524       72       596       17 %
80% to 89%
    838       47       885       25 %
90% to 99%
    666       17       683       19 %
100% or above
    251       15       266       8 %
 
                       
Totals
  $ 3,170     $ 352     $ 3,522       100 %
 
                       
As summarized above, $352 million or 10% of the commercial mortgage loan portfolio is comprised of subordinated notes and loans, including $319 million of loans secured by first mortgages, which were fully underwritten and originated by the Company using its standard underwriting procedures. Senior interests in these first mortgage loans were then sold to other institutional investors. This strategy allowed the Company to effectively utilize its origination capabilities to underwrite high quality loans with strong borrower sponsorship, limit individual loan exposures, and achieve attractive risk adjusted yields. In the event of a default, the Company would pursue remedies up to and including foreclosure jointly with the holders of the senior interests, but would receive repayment only after satisfaction of the senior interest.
There are seven loans where the aggregate carrying value of the mortgage loans exceeds the value of the underlying properties by $16 million. Five of these loans have current debt service coverage of 1.0 or greater and two with debt service coverage below 1.0 have other mitigating factors including strong borrower sponsorship.
Although the property value declines increased the portfolio loan to value ratios, all but four of the approximately 180 loans that comprise the Company’s total mortgage loan portfolio continue to perform under their contractual terms, and the actual aggregate default rate is 3.6%. Given the quality and diversity of the underlying real estate, positive debt service coverage, significant borrower cash investment averaging nearly 30%, and only $201 million of loans maturing in the next twelve months, the Company remains confident that the vast majority of borrowers will continue to perform as required.
Commercial real estate fundamentals and values continued to decline in 2009 after completion of the portfolio review in the third quarter. While the vast majority of loans in the Company’s portfolio have positive debt service coverage of at least 1.0, the Company expects declines in debt service coverage to reflect further deterioration in fundamentals (higher vacancy rates and lower rental rates) resulting from ongoing weak economic conditions. Management’s current view is that property values have fallen by approximately 10% on average from values estimated as part of the third quarter 2009 portfolio review. However, the value of well located, well leased, institutional quality real estate appears to be stabilizing. See Critical Accounting Estimates beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K for more information on the effect of declines in property values on commercial mortgage loans.
Other Long-term Investments
The Company’s other long-term investments include $561 million in private equity and real estate funds as well as direct investments in real estate joint ventures. The funds typically invest in mezzanine debt or equity of privately held companies and equity real estate. Because these investments have a subordinate position in the capital structure, the Company assumes a higher level of risk for higher expected returns. Many of these entities have experienced a decline in value over the last several quarters due to economic weakness and the disruption in the capital markets. To mitigate risk, these investments are diversified across approximately 60 separate partnerships, and approximately 35 general partners who manage one or more of these partnerships. Also, the funds’ underlying investments are diversified by industry sector, property type, and geographic region. No single partnership investment exceeds 8% of the Company’s private equity and real estate partnership portfolio. Given the current economic environment, future impairments are possible; however, management does not expect those losses to have a material effect on the Company’s financial condition.

 

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Problem and Potential Problem Investments
“Problem” bonds and commercial mortgage loans are either delinquent by 60 days or more or have been restructured as to terms (interest rate or maturity date). “Potential problem” bonds and commercial mortgage loans are considered current (no payment more than 59 days past due), but management believes they have certain characteristics that increase the likelihood that they may become problems. The characteristics management considers include, but are not limited to, the following:
  request from the borrower for restructuring;
  principal or interest payments past due by more than 30 but fewer than 60 days;
  downgrade in credit rating;
  collateral losses on asset-backed securities; and
  for commercial mortgages, deterioration of debt service coverage below 1.0 or value declines resulting in estimated loan-to-value ratios increasing to 100% or more.
The Company recognizes interest income on problem bonds and commercial mortgage loans only when payment is actually received because of the risk profile of the underlying investment. The amount that would have been reflected in net income if interest on non-accrual investments had been recognized in accordance with the original terms was not significant for 2009 or 2008.
The following table shows problem and potential problem investments at amortized cost, net of valuation reserves and write-downs:
                                                 
    December 31, 2009     December 31, 2008  
(In millions)   Gross     Reserve     Net     Gross     Reserve     Net  
Problem bonds
  $ 103     $ (49 )   $ 54     $ 94     $ (59 )   $ 35  
Problem commercial mortgage loans
    169       (11 )     158                    
Foreclosed real estate
    59             59                    
 
                                   
Total problem investments
  $ 331     $ (60 )   $ 271     $ 94     $ (59 )   $ 35  
 
                                   
 
                                               
Potential problem bonds
  $ 94     $ (10 )   $ 84     $ 140     $ (14 )   $ 126  
Potential problem commercial mortgage loans
    245       (6 )     239       92             92  
 
                                   
Total potential problem investments
  $ 339     $ (16 )   $ 323     $ 232     $ (14 )   $ 218  
 
                                   
Net problem investments represent 1.5% of total investments excluding policy loans. Net problem investments increased $236 million during 2009 primarily reflecting deterioration on six commercial mortgage loans totaling $217 million, one of which is held as foreclosed real estate.
Net potential problem investments represent 1.8% of total investments excluding policy loans. Net potential problem investments increased $105 million during 2009 primarily reflecting the addition of nine loans totaling $169 million to the potential problem loan list that were exhibiting signs of distress such as an elevated loan to value ratio or a low or negative debt service coverage. These loans were all performing according to their original contractual terms as of December 31, 2009 and although they are showing signs of distress, most of these loans are adequately collateralized. These additional nine loans were added to potential problem investments as a result of management’s in-depth commercial mortgage loan portfolio review completed in the third quarter of 2009.

 

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Commercial mortgage loans are considered impaired when it is probable that the Company will not collect amounts due according to the terms of the original loan agreement. Problem and potential problem commercial mortgage loans totaling $222 million, presented in the above table, are considered impaired. During 2009, the Company recorded a $17 million pre-tax ($11 million after-tax) increase to valuation reserves on impaired commercial mortgage loans. See Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Critical Accounting Estimates section of the MD&A beginning on page 55 of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding impaired commercial mortgage loans.
Summary
The Company recorded after-tax realized investment losses for investment asset write-downs and changes in valuation reserves as follows:
                 
(In millions)   2009     2008  
Credit-related (1)
  $ 61     $ 44  
Other (2)
    8       97  
 
           
Total (3)
  $ 69     $ 141  
 
           
     
(1)   Credit-related losses include other-than-temporary declines in value of fixed maturities and equity securities, and impairments of commercial mortgage loans and real estate entities. The amount related to credit losses on fixed maturities for which a portion of the impairment was recognized in other comprehensive income was not significant.
 
(2)   Prior to adoption of new GAAP guidance for other-than-temporary impairments on April 1, 2009, Other primarily represented the impact of rising market yields on investments where the Company could not demonstrate the intent and ability to hold until recovery.
 
(3)   Includes other-than-temporary impairments on debt securities of $31 million in 2009, $138 million in 2008 and $20 million in 2007. These impairments are included in both the credit related and other categories above.
The financial markets experienced a significant improvement during 2009. Both investment grade and below investment grade corporate credit indices reported significantly lower credit spreads and the S&P 500 posted a return of approximately 25% during this period. While credit spreads tightened in 2009 and asset values increased significantly, substantial uncertainty remains concerning the economic environment. As a result of this economic environment, risks in the Company’s investment portfolio remain elevated.
Continued economic weakness for an extended period could cause default rates to increase and recoveries to decline resulting in additional impairment losses for the Company. Future realized and unrealized investment results will be impacted largely by market conditions that exist when a transaction occurs or at the reporting date. These future conditions are not reasonably predictable. Management believes that the vast majority of the Company’s fixed maturity investments will continue to perform under their contractual terms, and that declines in their fair values below carrying value are temporary. Based on the strategy to match the duration of invested assets to the duration of insurance and contractholder liabilities, the Company expects to hold a significant portion of these assets for the long term. Therefore, future credit-related losses are not expected to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s liquidity or financial condition.
While management believes the commercial mortgage loan portfolio is positioned to perform well due to the solid aggregate loan to value ratio, strong debt service coverage and minimal underwater position, the commercial real estate market continues to exhibit significant signs of distress and if these conditions remain for an extended period or worsen substantially, it could result in an increase in problem and potential problem loans. Given the current economic environment, future impairments are possible; however, management does not expect those losses to have a material effect on the Company’s financial condition.

 

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MARKET RISK
Financial Instruments
The Company’s assets and liabilities include financial instruments subject to the risk of potential losses from adverse changes in market rates and prices. The Company’s primary market risk exposures are:
  Interest-rate risk on fixed-rate, domestic, medium-term instruments. Changes in market interest rates affect the value of instruments that promise a fixed return and impact the value of liabilities for reinsured GMDB and GMIB contracts.
  Foreign currency exchange rate risk of the U.S. dollar primarily to the South Korean won, Taiwan dollar, euro, British pound, New Zealand dollar, and Hong Kong dollar. An unfavorable change in exchange rates reduces the carrying value of net assets denominated in foreign currencies.
  Equity price risk for domestic equity securities and for the value of reinsured GMDB and GMIB contracts resulting from unfavorable changes in variable annuity account values based on underlying mutual fund investments.
For further discussion of reinsured contracts, see Note 7 for GMDB contracts and Note 11 for GMIB contracts in the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Company’s Management of Market Risks
The Company predominantly relies on three techniques to manage its exposure to market risk:
  Investment/liability matching. The Company generally selects investment assets with characteristics (such as duration, yield, currency and liquidity) that correspond to the underlying characteristics of its related insurance and contractholder liabilities so that the Company can match the investments to its obligations. Shorter-term investments support generally shorter-term life and health liabilities. Medium-term, fixed-rate investments support interest-sensitive and health liabilities. Longer-term investments generally support products with longer pay out periods such as annuities and long-term disability liabilities.
  Use of local currencies for foreign operations. The Company generally conducts its international business through foreign operating entities that maintain assets and liabilities in local currencies. While this technique does not reduce the Company’s foreign currency exposure of its net assets, it substantially limits exchange rate risk to those net assets.
  Use of derivatives. The Company generally uses derivative financial instruments to minimize certain market risks and, from time to time, to enhance investment returns.
See Notes 2(C) and 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information about financial instruments, including derivative financial instruments.
Effect of Market Fluctuations on the Company
The examples that follow illustrate the effect of hypothetical changes in market rates or prices on the fair value of certain financial instruments including:
  hypothetical changes in market interest rates, primarily for fixed maturities and commercial mortgage loans, partially offset by liabilities for long-term debt and GMIB contracts;
  hypothetical changes in market rates for foreign currencies, primarily for the net assets of foreign subsidiaries denominated in a foreign currency; and
  hypothetical changes in market prices for equity exposures, primarily for equity securities and GMIB contracts.
In addition, hypothetical effects of changes in equity indices and foreign exchange rates are presented separately for futures contracts used in the GMDB equity hedge program.

 

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Management believes that actual results could differ materially from these examples because:
  these examples were developed using estimates and assumptions;
  changes in the fair values of all insurance-related assets and liabilities have been excluded because their primary risks are insurance rather than market risk;
  changes in the fair values of investments recorded using the equity method of accounting and liabilities for pension and other postretirement and postemployment benefit plans (and related assets) have been excluded, consistent with the disclosure guidance; and
  changes in the fair values of other significant assets and liabilities such as goodwill, deferred policy acquisition costs, taxes, and various accrued liabilities have been excluded; because they are not financial instruments, their primary risks are other than market risk.
The effects of hypothetical changes in market rates or prices on the fair values of certain of the Company’s financial instruments, subject to the exclusions noted above (particularly insurance liabilities), would have been as follows as of December 31:
                     
Market scenario for          
certain non-insurance   Loss in fair value  
financial instruments (in millions)   2009     2008  
100 basis point increase in interest rates
  $ 700     $ 700  
10% strengthening in U.S. dollar to foreign currencies
  $ 190     $ 160  
10% decrease in market prices for equity exposures
  $ 50     $ 50  
The Company’s foreign operations hold investment assets, such as fixed maturities, that are generally invested in the currency of the related liabilities. Due to the increase in the fair value of these investments in 2009, which are primarily denominated in the South Korean won, the effect of a hypothetical 10% strengthening in U.S. dollar to foreign currencies at December 31, 2009 was greater than that effect at December 31, 2008.
The effect of a hypothetical increase in interest rates was determined by estimating the present value of future cash flows using various models, primarily duration modeling and, for GMIB contracts, stochastic modeling. The effect of a hypothetical strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to the foreign currencies held by the Company was estimated to be 10% of the U.S. dollar equivalent fair value. The effect of a hypothetical decrease in the market prices of equity exposures was estimated based on a 10% decrease in the equity mutual fund values underlying guaranteed minimum income benefits reinsured by the Company and a 10% decrease in the value of equity securities held by the Company. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
The Company uses futures contracts as part of a GMDB equity hedge program to substantially reduce the effect of equity market changes on certain reinsurance contracts that guarantee minimum death benefits based on unfavorable changes in underlying variable annuity account values. The hypothetical effect of a 10% increase in the S&P 500, S&P 400, Russell 2000, NASDAQ, TOPIX (Japanese), EUROSTOXX and FTSE (British) equity indices and a 10% weakening in the U.S. dollar to the Japanese yen, British pound and euro would have been a decrease of approximately $100 million in the fair value of the futures contracts outstanding under this program as of December 31, 2009. A corresponding decrease in liabilities for GMDB contracts would result from the hypothetical 10% increase in these equity indices and 10% weakening in the U.S. dollar. See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of this program and related GMDB contracts.
As noted above, the Company manages its exposures to market risk by matching investment characteristics to its obligations.
Stock Market Performance
The performance of equity markets can have a significant effect on the Company’s businesses, including on:
  risks and exposures associated with GMDB (see Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements) and GMIB contracts (see Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements); and
  pension liabilities since equity securities comprise a significant portion of the assets of the Company’s employee pension plans.

 

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT FOR PURPOSES OF THE “SAFE HARBOR” PROVISIONS OF THE
PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
CIGNA Corporation and its subsidiaries (the “Company”) and its representatives may from time to time make written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in press releases, in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in its reports to shareholders and in meetings with analysts and investors. Forward-looking statements may contain information about financial prospects, economic conditions, trends and other uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information available to management at the time the statements are or were made. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to the information concerning possible or assumed future business strategies, financing plans, competitive position, potential growth opportunities, potential operating performance improvements, trends and, in particular, the Company’s productivity initiatives, litigation and other legal matters, operational improvement initiatives in the health care operations, and the outlook for the Company’s results for full year 2010 and beyond. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words “believe”, “expect”, “plan”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “predict”, “potential”, “may”, “should” or similar expressions.
You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The Company cautions that actual results could differ materially from those that management expects, depending on the outcome of certain factors. Some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include:
  1.   increased medical costs that are higher than anticipated in establishing premium rates in the Company’s health care operations, including increased use and costs of medical services;
 
  2.   increased medical, administrative, technology or other costs resulting from new legislative and regulatory requirements imposed on the Company’s employee benefits businesses;
 
  3.   challenges and risks associated with implementing operational improvement initiatives and strategic actions in the ongoing operations of the businesses, including those related to: (i) growth in targeted geographies, product lines, buying segments and distribution channels, (ii) offering products that meet emerging market needs, (iii) strengthening underwriting and pricing effectiveness, (iv) strengthening medical cost and medical membership results, (v) delivering quality member and provider service using effective technology solutions, (vi) lowering administrative costs and (vii) transitioning to an integrated operating company model, including operating efficiencies related to the transition;
 
  4.   risks associated with pending and potential state and federal class action lawsuits, disputes regarding reinsurance arrangements, other litigation and regulatory actions challenging the Company’s businesses, including disputes related to payments to providers, government investigations and proceedings, and tax audits and related litigation;
 
  5.   heightened competition, particularly price competition, which could reduce product margins and constrain growth in the Company’s businesses, primarily the Health Care business;
 
  6.   risks associated with the Company’s mail order pharmacy business which, among other things, includes any potential operational deficiencies or service issues as well as loss or suspension of state pharmacy licenses;
 
  7.   significant changes in interest rates and deterioration in the loan to value ratios of commercial real estate investments for a sustained period of time;
 
  8.   downgrades in the financial strength ratings of the Company’s insurance subsidiaries, which could, among other things, adversely affect new sales and retention of current business as well as the downgrade in the financial strength ratings of reinsurers which could result in increased statutory reserve or capital requirements;
 
  9.   limitations on the ability of the Company’s insurance subsidiaries to dividend capital to the parent company as a result of downgrades in the subsidiaries’ financial strength ratings, changes in statutory reserve or capital requirements or other financial constraints;
 
  10.   the inability of the hedge program adopted by the Company to substantially reduce equity market risks for reinsurance contracts that guarantee minimum death benefits under certain variable annuities (including possible market difficulties in entering into appropriate futures contracts and in matching such contracts to the underlying equity risk);
 
  11.   adjustments to the reserve assumptions (including lapse, partial surrender, mortality, interest rates and volatility) used in estimating the Company’s liabilities for reinsurance contracts covering guaranteed minimum death benefits under certain variable annuities;
 
  12.   adjustments to the assumptions (including annuity election rates and amounts collectible from reinsurers) used in estimating the Company’s assets and liabilities for reinsurance contracts covering guaranteed minimum income benefits under certain variable annuities;
 
  13.   significant stock market declines, which could, among other things, result in increased expenses for guaranteed minimum income benefit contracts, guaranteed minimum death benefit contracts and the Company’s pension plan in future periods as well as the recognition of additional pension obligations;
 
  14.   unfavorable claims experience related to workers’ compensation and personal accident exposures of the run-off reinsurance business, including losses attributable to the inability to recover claims from retrocessionaires;

 

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  15.   significant deterioration in economic conditions and significant market volatility, which could have an adverse effect on the Company’s operations, investments, liquidity and access to capital markets;
 
  16.   significant deterioration in economic conditions and significant market volatility, which could have an adverse effect on the businesses of our customers (including the amount and type of healthcare services provided to their workforce and our customers’ ability to pay receivables) and our vendors (including their ability to provide services);
 
  17.   changes in public policy and in the political environment, which could affect state and federal law, including legislative and regulatory proposals related to health care issues (including health care reform legislation that could include, among other items, a broad based public sector alternative and/or alternative assessments and tax increases specific to the Company’s industry), which could increase cost and affect the market for the Company’s health care products and services; and amendments to income tax laws, which could affect the taxation of employer provided benefits and certain insurance products such as corporate-owned life insurance;
 
  18.   potential public health epidemics and bio-terrorist activity, which could, among other things, cause the Company’s covered medical and disability expenses, pharmacy costs and mortality experience to rise significantly, and cause operational disruption, depending on the severity of the event and number of individuals affected;
 
  19.   risks associated with security or interruption of information systems, which could, among other things, cause operational disruption;
 
  20.   challenges and risks associated with the successful management of the Company’s outsourcing projects or key vendors, including the agreement with IBM for provision of technology infrastructure and related services;
 
  21.   the ability to successfully integrate and operate the businesses acquired from Great-West by, among other things, renewing insurance and administrative services contracts on competitive terms, retaining and growing membership, realizing revenue, expense and other synergies, successfully leveraging the information technology platform of the acquired businesses, and retaining key personnel; and
 
  22.   the ability of the Company to execute its growth plans by successfully managing Great-West Healthcare’s outsourcing projects and leveraging the Company’s capabilities and those of the businesses acquired from Great-West to further enhance the combined organization’s network access position, underwriting effectiveness, delivery of quality member and provider service, and increased penetration of its membership base with differentiated product offerings.
This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. Other sections of the Form 10-K, including the “Risk Factors” section, and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission include both expanded discussion of these factors and additional risk factors and uncertainties that could preclude the Company from realizing the forward-looking statements. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

 

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Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
Management of CIGNA Corporation (“the Company”) is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal controls over financial reporting. The Company’s internal controls were designed to provide reasonable assurance to the Company’s Management and Board of Directors that the Company’s consolidated published financial statements for external purposes were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The Company’s internal controls over financial reporting include those policies and procedures that:
  (i)   pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets and liabilities of the Company;
  (ii)   provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the Company are being made only in accordance with authorization of management and directors of the Company; and
  (iii)   provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisitions, use or disposition of the Company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements.
Management assessed the effectiveness of the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting as of December 31, 2009. In making this assessment, Management used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”) in Internal Control-Integrated Framework. Based on Management’s assessment and the criteria set forth by COSO, it was determined that the Company’s internal controls over financial reporting are effective as of December 31, 2009.
The Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has audited the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting, as stated in their report located on page 168 in this Form 10-K.

 

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Item 7A.   QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
The information contained under the caption “Market Risk” in the MD&A section of this Form 10-K is incorporated by reference.

 

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Item 8.   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
CIGNA Corporation
Consolidated Statements of Income
                         
(In millions, except per share amounts)                  
For the years ended December 31,   2009     2008     2007  
Revenues
                       
Premiums and fees
  $ 16,041     $ 16,253     $ 15,008  
Net investment income
    1,014       1,063       1,114  
Mail order pharmacy revenues
    1,282       1,204       1,118  
Other revenues
    120       751       368  
Realized investment gains (losses)
                       
Other-than-temporary impairments on debt securities, net
    (47 )     (213 )     (31 )
Other realized investment gains
    4       43       47  
 
                 
Total realized investment gains (losses)
    (43 )     (170 )     16  
 
                 
Total revenues
    18,414       19,101       17,624  
 
                 
Benefits and Expenses
                       
Health Care medical claims expense
    6,927       7,252       6,798  
Other benefit expenses
    3,407       4,285       3,401  
Mail order pharmacy cost of goods sold
    1,036       961       904  
Guaranteed minimum income benefits (income) expense
    (304 )     690       147  
Other operating expenses
    5,450       5,531       4,740  
 
                 
Total benefits and expenses
    16,516       18,719       15,990  
 
                 
Income from Continuing Operations before Income Taxes
    1,898       382       1,634  
 
                 
Income taxes (benefits):
                       
Current
    275       313       511  
Deferred
    319       (221 )      
 
                 
Total taxes
    594       92       511  
 
                 
Income from Continuing Operations
    1,304       290       1,123  
Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations, Net of Taxes
    1       4       (5 )
 
                 
Net Income
    1,305       294       1,118  
Less: Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest
    3       2       3  
 
                 
Shareholders’ Net Income
  $ 1,302     $ 292     $ 1,115  
 
                 
Basic Earnings Per Share:
                       
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations
  $ 4.75     $ 1.04     $ 3.91  
Shareholders’ income (loss) from discontinued operations
          0.01       (0.02 )
 
                 
Shareholders’ net income
  $ 4.75     $ 1.05     $ 3.89  
 
                 
Diluted Earnings Per Share:
                       
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations
  $ 4.73     $ 1.03     $ 3.86  
Shareholders’ income (loss) from discontinued operations
          0.02       (0.02 )
 
                 
Shareholders’ net income
  $ 4.73     $ 1.05     $ 3.84  
 
                 
 
                       
Dividends Declared Per Share
  $ 0.04     $ 0.04     $ 0.04  
 
                 
 
                       
Amounts Attributable to CIGNA:
                       
Shareholders’ income from continuing operations
  $ 1,301     $ 288     $ 1,120  
Shareholders’ income (loss) from discontinued operations
    1       4       (5 )
 
                 
Shareholders’ Net Income
  $ 1,302     $ 292     $ 1,115  
 
                 
The accompanying Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements are an integral part of these statements.

 

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CIGNA Corporation
Consolidated Balance Sheets