Cigna’s Evernorth unit partners with rival Kaiser Permanente

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FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the logo for Cigna Corp. on the floor at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) – Health insurer Cigna Corp’s Evernorth unit would partner with Kaiser Permanente to help patients enrolled in some its rival’s health plans gain access to doctors while traveling.

The agreement announced on Tuesday would make Evernorth the preferred external pharmacy partner of Kaiser for drugs to treat certain conditions.

Evernorth houses the pharmacy benefit management business Cigna acquired in its 2018 buyout of Express Scripts as well as the company’s specialty pharmacy business Accredo.

“We’ve set Evernorth up to be a partner of choice. And we have partner arrangements with entities that some might see as our competitors,” Eric Palmer, CEO of Evernorth, said in an interview.

Pharmacy benefit managers serve as intermediaries between drug manufacturers, health insurance plans and pharmacies to negotiate prescription drug prices.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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