A national managed care company is buying its way into the limited-benefit health plan market.

CIGNA HealthCare, Bloomfield, Conn., a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, has agreed to acquire Star HRG, Phoenix, the mini med arm of HealthMarkets Inc., North Richland Hills, Texas.

The price of the deal was not immediately available.

Star HRG, which has 320 employees, sells the Starbridge family of low-priced “mini medical” insurance products, which usually provide some access to preferred provider networks and small amounts of health insurance coverage.

More than 1,000 employers are using Star HRG plans, and those plans are covering about 200,000 employees, according to CIGNA HealthCare.

“Many of our national and middle-market accounts have expressed the desire to make simple and affordable health benefits coverage available to their employees who otherwise may not be eligible for benefits,” says David Cordani, president of CIGNA HealthCare.