CIGNA expands into Turkey

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CIGNA's Turkish office will be based in Istanbul

International health and life insurer CIGNA has received a license to sell its products in Turkey. CIGNA Hayat Sigorta S.A., based in Istanbul, will offer health insurance products to individuals. Additional products will be added to the company’s portfolio as it grows.

CIGNA International President Bill Atwell said:

Our direct distribution capabilities differentiate us and will provide value to the people of Turkey. Our expansion into Turkey demonstrates CIGNA’s commitment to being a global health services company, and our locally staffed team and operations represent our customer-centric approach to the marketplace.

Turkey’s healthcare system is still grounded primarily in a publicly-funded system of state-run hospitals, though private care is becoming more popular due to the higher quality care and shorter wait times available in private facilities. Figures show less than 5%  of the population relies on private health insurance–those who do live mainly in urban areas.

Demand for private insurance (especially as a supplement to state-funded care) is growing, however, so CIGNA’s expansion can be viewed as a play on future growth.

Companies discussed

CIGNA is a global health service company serving multinational employers, international organizations and individual expatriates. It offers products in 29 countries and has some 66 million customers worldwide. A publicly traded company, CIGNA shares have been on the rise since the second half of 2010. Nonetheless, the company’s earnings are forecasted to remain relatively flat over the next two years.