Yahoo! Lands Healthy Deal with Cigna

By Matt Carolan  |  Posted 2002-01-09

Yahoo!, Inc. and Cigna Corp. announced on Wednesday a multimillion-dollar agreement for Yahoo! to provide personalized Web sites for Cignas 16 million health care and retirement services customers.

Cigna, which is the nations third largest provider of health care services and third largest provider of retirement benefits, said its customers will be able to find information for managing health care, investment and retirement accounts on a personalized My Yahoo! interface. This interface will serve as the entry to a personalized "My Cigna" page, a Cigna spokesman added.

Cigna HealthCare customers can order medications, monitor insurance claims and manage other information. Cignas Retirement and Investment services customers will be able to review investment options, move funds and otherwise manage their accounts.

The pages can also be customized by the employers that have established the Cigna plans, the companies said.

Yahoo!s business communications and corporate portal division, Yahoo! Enterprise Solutions, will provide Cigna with software, technology, content feeds, professional services and personalization skills training and other education, said David Gee, Vice President of Yahoo!s Enterprise Portals Solutions division.

The new pages will begin rolling out in the first half of 2002. All of Cignas Retirement and Investment Services participants and most of Cigna HealthCares 14.3 million members will have access by the end of 2002, the companies said.

"In terms of the rollout, Cigna is a company very focused on how private and secure its content and data is, and the rollout schedule reflects that," said Gee. "All of the membership information, for Cigna members, stays at Cigna. In no sense, shape or form, does Yahoo! have any access, any exposure, any insight into any of the highly private, highly confidential Cigna membership data, like 401(k) plan information, or health benefit information, medical claim information," he added.

David Gordon, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce at Cigna, said his company spoke to twenty-five prospective companies before deciding to work with Yahoo!

"They bring to the table expertise in portal design, providing portal capabilities to consumers, they have an extensive amount of content, and their technology platform really is going to enable us to scale our capabilities," said Gordon. "We needed to work with an organization that really understands scale."

Gordon also added that Yahoo!s high-profile brand name did play a role in Cignas decision as well.

The companies declined to provide financial details of the arrangement except to say that it was multi-year, multimillion dollar deal.

In early afternoon trading, Yahoo stock was up $1.38 to $20.91, or 7.07 percent.

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