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Cigna completes purchase of HealthSpring Inc.

Connecticut-based Cigna Corp. said Tuesday that it has closed on its $3.8 billion acquisition of HealthSpring Inc., a health care company that specializes in the Medicare Advantage market.

HealthSpring bought Baltimore-based Bravo Health last year for $545 million and employs about 700 people in the area. A spokeswoman said she didn't believe there would be significant cuts because Cigna doesn't have a big role in the Medicare Advantage market now.

"We expect the workforce to remain in the market because Cigna has a limited presence in the market, pretty much just in Phoenix," said Graham Harrison, the HealthSpring spokeswoman. "We're excited about the announcement and think it'll bring enhanced value to our stakeholders."

Medicare Advantage offers additional services beyond traditional Medicare through private health care companies and now accounts for about a quarter of the Medicare market. Its growth has made smaller companies that offer the services attractive targets.

Bravo, founded in 1996 as Elder Health, had about 100,000 customers in Maryland, four other states and Washington when it was purchased by HealthSpring, which now offers Medicare Advantage plans in 11 states and Washington in addition to a stand-alone prescription plan.

Cigna Chief Executive Officer David M. Cordani said in a statement, "With HealthSpring's talented team and highly differentiated physician engagement model, Cigna expands its capabilities and product offerings to better serve customers throughout their life stages."


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