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New York Life Closes on Cigna Group Life and Disability Unit

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New York Life Insurance Company has completed a $6.3 billion acquisition of Cigna’s group life, accident and disability insurance business.

It has renamed the business New York Life Group Life Benefit Solutions, and started promoting the unit as part of New York Life on social media.

Craig DeSanto, president of New York Life, said in a video posted on Twitter Monday that the company is especially interested in getting into the group disability insurance market.

“Disability income insurance is valuable to all Americans,” DeSanto said. “Adding it to our portfolio significantly enhances our ability to deliver peace of mind.”

(Related: New York Life Makes $6.3 Billion Deal for Cigna Group Life and Disability Unit)

New York Life first announced the deal in December 2019.

Cigna is getting cash it can use to pay down debt left over from the acquisition of Express Scripts, a large pharmacy benefits manager.

New York Life is getting a group benefits business that has 3,000 employees, about 9 million plan enrollees, a 90% client retention rate, and a 71% return-to-work rates for employees receiving short-term disability insurance benefits.

New York Life Chairman Ted Mathas said in a statement that the acquisition “reinforces our financial strength by generating capital that can contribute to our surplus, dividends, and earnings.”

William Smith, a senior vice president at New York Life, will be the head of the group benefits solutions business.

Cigna has been known for efforts to integrate health coverage with disability insurance. Cigna and New York Life say they’ll work together to develop programs that combine health coverage with other types of group benefits.

— Read Unum Picks Global Atlantic for $7.1B Reinsurance Deal, on ThinkAdvisor.

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