This week, we’re reading an update from MIB Life Index on US life insurance application activity, a summary of Cigna’s proposed acquisition of Express Scripts, and Amazon’s launch of a low-cost version of Prime for Medicaid recipients.

U.S. Life Insurance Activity Losses Slow in February Reports the MIB Life Index | MIB Group | March 6, 2018

Braintree, MA. (March 6, 2018) —Early year declines in U.S. life insurance application activity continued in February off -2.4%, year-over-year; however, moderating from January’s -4.4% decline, according to the MIB Life Index. Looking back, after two years of very solid gains in 2015 and 2016, the composite Life Index started weakening in Q3 2016 and has yet to show a firm correction from the downturn. For the year, the MIB Life Index is off -3.5%YTD. February’s activity was up 4.1% from that of January.

Read the full update on here.

Cigna acquiring Express Scripts in $67B deal | HealthcareDIVE | March 8, 2018

  • Cigna said Thursday it is acquiring Express Scripts in a cash and stock transaction valued at $67 billion, including debt. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.
  • The combined company will offer “a full suite of medical, behavioral, specialty pharmacy and other health engagement services” across a “wide array of retail and online distribution channels,” according to a news release.
  • Cigna CEO David Cordani, who will run the new combined company, said in a statement the transaction “will create an expanded portfolio of health services, delivering greater consumer choice, closer alignment between the customer and health care provider, and more personalized value.”

See the summary on here.

Amazon launches a low-cost version of Prime for Medicaid recipients | TechCrunch | March 7, 2018

Amazon announced this morning it will offer a low-cost version of its Prime membership program to qualifying recipients of Medicaid. The program will bring the cost of Prime down from the usual $12.99 per month to about half that, at $5.99 per month, while still offering the full range of Prime perks, including free, two-day shipping on millions of products, Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, Prime Reading, Prime Now, Audible Channels, and more.

The new program is an expansion on Amazon’s discounted Prime service for customers on government assistance, launched in June 2017. For the same price of $5.99 per month, Amazon offers Prime memberships to any U.S. customer with a valid EBT card – the card that’s used to disburse funds for assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).

Now that same benefit is arriving for recipients of Medicaid, the public assistance program providing medical coverage to low-income Americans. To qualify for the discount, customers must have a valid EBT or Medicaid card, the retailer says.

Read the update on here.