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Timeline

1792

After a series of meetings in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, a group of prominent citizens forms the Insurance Company of North America (INA). INA is the first marine insurance company in the United States, and it will remain the nation’s oldest stockholder-owned insurer.

INA issues marine policies #1 and #2, insuring the hull and cargo of the ship America on a voyage from Philadelphia to Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

1794

INA issues its first life policy, insuring a sea captain against death during a voyage. The policy includes a clause promising benefits if the captain is captured by Barbary Coast pirates.

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The Pennsylvania legislature approves a bill to incorporate the Insurance Company of North America, authorizing the writing of marine, fire and life policies.

1849

INA appoints an agent for California who remits premiums to the Walnut Street home office in gold dust.

1865

The Governor of Connecticut signs a special act of the General Assembly incorporating the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CG).

1871

The great Chicago fire burns for two days in October, destroying 2,000 acres and leaving 100,000 people homeless. INA pays $650,000, one of only 51 insurance companies (out of a total of 202) to pay claims in full.

1887

INA appoints agents for the United Kingdom, Europe and South America, located in London, Vienna and Buenos Aires, respectively.

1897

INA appoints the Yang-tsze Insurance Association, Ltd., as its agent in Shanghai, and becomes the first American company to write insurance in China.

1898

Benjamin Rush takes command of INA’s marine branch. A year earlier he had submitted a report to the Company’s board of directors analyzing INA’s faltering marine business through careful statistical calculations. Once in charge, he quickly establishes his methods, later known as “scientific underwriting,” to guide risk assessment. Soon claims begin to decline and profits rise as the quality of INA’s marine business improves.

1900

CG founds its “bureau of financial statistics,” a unit organized to advise the company’s managers on the investment of premium dollars. The forerunner of the investment operations of CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services, the unit’s employees pioneer the collection and analysis of statistics before recommending the purchase of stocks, bonds, mortgages and other financial instruments.

1906

Fires from the San Francisco earthquake leave nearly five square miles of the city in ruins. INA and subsidiaries promise to pay losses in full-a total of $4,772,000.

1912

CG organizes the Accident Department and begins to offer individual accident and, later, health insurance.

1913

CG writes its first group life insurance contract covering 100 employees of The Hartford Courant newspaper.

1918

Representatives from a group of U.S.-based insurance companies meet in New York City to form the American Foreign Insurance Association (AFIA). INA is one of the founding members. Over the next few years, member companies open offices in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, the Philippines, New Zealand, the Mediterranean area, South America, India, the Near East and Europe. INA represents the consortium in eight of these markets. INA withdraws in 1921, and a decade later independently pursues international growth.

CG establishes a separate Group Department and sells its first large case, covering 5,400 employees of Gulf Oil.

1919

CG introduces group accident and sickness coverage.

CG sets up a separate reinsurance bureau within the Actuarial Department to manage the company’s expanding reinsurance activities.

1924

CG writes its first group pension contract.

CG opens its first branch office in Chicago, beginning a trend away from the general agency system.

1925

INA moves into its new home-office building at 1600 Arch Street in Philadelphia, across town from the traditional business center, and the “gateway” to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway just being developed.

1926

Both INA and CG begin to insure the age of flight. INA joins a syndicate to insure aircraft, and CG writes the first individual accident coverage offered passengers of regularly scheduled airlines. In later years, CG pioneers the writing of group contracts for the employees of many of the nation’s fledgling airlines and aircraft-manufacturing companies.

CG moves into its new home-office building, modeled on an Italian palazzo, at 55 Elm Street in Hartford, Connecticut, at a corner of Bushnell Park.

1929

Ross-Loos, the first health maintenance organization (HMO) in the United States, is established in Los Angeles. INA will purchase the Ross-Loos Medical Group in 1980.

CG establishes a group pension department.

1937

CG takes a leading role in the development of group hospital and surgical benefits, firmly establishing itself as a leading provider of group health insurance.

1942

At the request of the U.S. Army, an INA company writes accident and health insurance for the thirty men working on the Manhattan Project, without being told the nature of their employment.

1945

INA establishes in-house training for employees and agents.

1946

INA establishes an international department to coordinate underwriting and services in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Near East and Central and South America.

1947

Under the leadership of Stuart Smith, estate planning becomes CG’s uniform method of marketing individual life insurance. Although copied by competitors, CG gains a strong position in the sale of life insurance to wealthy Americans.

1950

CG introduces medical catastrophe (major medical) insurance, writing the first policy in the United States for its own employees

Charlotte Cowan becomes CG’s first woman officer when she is appointed assistant controller. INA’s first woman officer will be Ruth Salzmann, promoted in 1960 to associate actuary.

1956

INA organizes the Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) to write life and group coverages.

1957

CG moves to its new home office in rural Bloomfield, Connecticut, six miles from Hartford. CG is in the vanguard of the development of office parks.

1958

INA installs its first electronic data-processing system based on an IBM 705 computer.

1959

CG purchases an RCA 501 computer and begins to apply electronic data processing to its insurance operations.

1961

After leading the struggle to change laws in Connecticut regulating the investment of insurance premiums, CG organizes its first “separate account” for pension clients wishing to invest funds primarily in equities.
Pacific Employers Insurance Company (PEIC), founded in Los Angeles in 1923, initiates MEND (Medical and Educational Needs for the Disabled). Its purpose is to manage workers’ compensation cases using caseworkers to develop and monitor individualized programs of therapy. This is one of the first medical-cost-containment initiatives in the U.S., and a forerunner of “managed care” programs. INA will acquire PEIC in 1965.

1963

CG begins investment in the “new city” of Columbia, Maryland, a planned community designed by James Rouse. CIGNA will sell its 80% interest in 1985.

1964

CG introduces group dental insurance for any employer with at least 35 employees.

1965

INA acquires Pacific Employers Group (PEG, which includes PEIC) to establish a stronger presence on the U.S. West Coast and expand its workers’ compensation business.

INA partners with its agents and brokers in Project Friendship to sponsor CARE packages. Widely hailed as a unique blend of humanitarianism and business in a people-to-people program, Project Friendship raises the equivalent of 468 tons of food in its first year.

1966

INA expands MEND throughout the United States. Under the leadership of George Welch, rehabilitation specialists are soon working with claims personnel in each of INA’s fifty service offices.

1967

Connecticut General Life Insurance Company forms Connecticut General Insurance Corporation, a holding company, to increase the number of insurance and investment products that can be offered.

Insurance Company of North America forms INA Corporation to expand into insurance-related and non-insurance businesses.

1968

CG organizes the first three of what will become a “family” of mutual funds: CG Fund, CG Income Fund and Companion Fund. At the same time, the company launches an initiative to qualify its career agents to market the funds to clients.

1969

CG establishes an HMO to serve Columbia, Maryland.

1970

INA forms International Rehabilitation Associates (IRA) to market professional rehabilitation services, based on the MEND model, to insurance companies and other organizations. IRA is the first medical-cost-containment business in the United States. Utilization review, second-opinion surgery, disease management and other cost-containment initiatives are added as IRA grows, and all services will be marketed under the name Intracorp.

1974

The Metropolitan Clinics of Counseling (MCC) mental-health clinics are founded in Minneapolis. One year later, MCC begins offering employee assistance programs (EAP) to employers. MCC will be acquired by CIGNA in 1989.

1975

CG becomes the first large Hartford-area employer to provide its employees with on-site day-care facilities. In 1982, a new custom-built day-care center will open.

1976

INA International Corporation unifies the management of INA’s expanding international insurance, reinsurance and insurance services operations.

1977

CG sets up a cost-containment organization in the Medical Program Department to help employers manage the cost of benefit programs.

1978

INA enters the prepaid-health-plan business by acquiring HMO International of Los Angeles. A year later, INA expands its activities in this area by acquiring ABC-HMO of Phoenix, Arizona, and organizing an HMO to serve Dallas, Texas. And, in 1980, INA purchases the nation’s oldest HMO, the Ross-Loos Medical Group, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Los Angeles.

1981

Connecticut General Insurance Corporation becomes a general business corporation and is renamed Connecticut General Corporation.

CG and INA announce the intent to combine Connecticut General Corporation and INA Corporation

1982

“CIGNA” is chosen as the name for the new concern, a combination of its predecessors’ initials. On March 31, the formation of CIGNA receives final regulatory approval. The Insurance Company of North America and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company become CIGNA’s chief operating companies.

1983

CIGNA selects Philadelphia for its headquarters.

1984

CIGNA acquires AFIA, founded in 1918, an international insurance underwriting association that reaches customers in more than 100 countries.

CIGNA Reinsurance pioneers reinsurance for organ transplants, allowing smaller insurers and HMOs to cover these rare and expensive operations.

CIGNA acquires Dental Health, Inc., becoming the first national carrier to enter the prepaid-dental-health market.

1987

CIGNA’s Employee Benefits Division sells an innovative, flexible managed-health and dental-care program to Allied-Signal, covering 37,000 salaried and non-union employees. The plan is so successful that within three years, enrollment climbs to 110,000 employees and dependents.

1989

CIGNA moves its corporate headquarters into One Liberty Place, part of a new development in Philadelphia’s Center City district. In 1991, most of CIGNA’s Philadelphia-based operations will be consolidated in Two Liberty Place.

CIGNA International Financial Services is formed to provide life and health insurance outside the United States.

CIGNA acquires the MCC Companies, a national leader in managed mental-health care and substance-abuse programs, founded in 1974. These companies are rebranded as CIGNA Behavioral Health, Inc. in 1999.

1990

CIGNA acquires EQUICOR, the nation’s sixth-largest provider of employee benefits. EQUICOR’s network of health plans complements CIGNA’s.

1991

Business Week recognizes CIGNA’s employee-staffed tutoring program for elementary school students as one of the U.S.’s premier corporate-sponsored education programs, and the Conference Board gives the project its “Best in Class” award, recognizing the initiative as the best corporate education improvement program in the country.

1992

The CIGNA companies celebrate their bicentennial.

1993

CIGNA adopts the new “Tree of Life” corporate symbol.

CIGNA purchases Tel-Drug, a mail-order pharmaceutical company to merge with RxPRIME, a CIGNA-managed pharmacy-benefit program formed in 1992.

1994

CIGNA International opens an office in Beijing, China, forty-three years after exiting the mainland market.
MCC Behavioral Health begins providing behavioral-health disability-benefits management programs.

CIGNA joins the March of Dimes fight for healthy babies by becoming a national sponsor of the annual walk-a-thon. In the first 5 years of sponsorship, 29,431 employees walk at over 80 sites, helping to raise $7.6 million.

1995

The value of CIGNA’s common stock exceeds $100 per share for the first time.

1996

CIGNA launches a dental PPO to complement its industry-leading indemnity and prepaid dental offerings.
CIGNA Financial Services, member NASD/SIPC, opens in July. The discount brokerage, based in Hartford, Connecticut, offers a broad range of investment choices, including IRAs, mutual funds, stocks and fixed-income securities.

1997

CIGNA acquires Healthsource, a New Hampshire-based health care company. Healthsource’s products and markets complement CIGNA HealthCare’s, and include areas of the United States where HMOs are under-represented.

1998

CIGNA completes the sale of its individual life insurance and annuities businesses in January to Lincoln National Corporation.

In February, the value of CIGNA common stock exceeds $200 per share for the first time, and on May 4, CIGNA’s common stock splits three-for-one.

Intracorp launches SmartSteps, its industry-leading disease-management program for chronic conditions.

1999

CIGNA completes the sale of its property-casualty domestic and international businesses to ACE Limited of Hamilton, Bermuda, in July. The divestiture enables CIGNA to focus its resources on its global health, life and pension businesses.

2000

CIGNA launches TimesSquare Capital Management, Inc. as the company’s independent, dedicated asset-management operation focused on meeting the investment needs of the institutional marketplace.

CIGNA sells its U.S. accidental death, individual life and group life reinsurance businesses to a subsidiary of Swiss Reinsurance Company in a further focusing of its strategic direction.

2001

CIGNA continues to receive national recognition as a top employer for its work/life programs. CIGNA appears on Latina Style’s list for the 4th consecutive year, and on Working Mother’s list for the 10th consecutive year. The National Association of Executive Women recognizes CIGNA for its work/life programs and for the percentage of women in executive positions in 2002. And Computerworld names CIGNA one the best places to work in information technology for the 4th consecutive year.

CIGNA.com is named “Best of the Web” for retirement and health care plan participants and employers by Business Insurance. Intracorp.com receives “Best in Show” honors for its Claims Toolbox. The web portal, myCIGNA.com, receives these honors in 2002.

To help cope with anxiety and stress caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks, CIGNA Behavioral Health extends counseling assistance to any member of the public. Other CIGNA companies extend hours, suspend or relax requirements and take additional steps to help customers

2002

CIGNA receives approval to enter the Chinese life insurance market, the first established after China becomes a member of the WTO. Later in the year, a joint venture is established to market life insurance in Shenzhen.

CIGNA Vision Care is formed to extend the breadth of CIGNA HealthCare specialty health-care capabilities.

2004

CIGNA completes the divestiture of its Retirement benefits business and focuses its strategy on health and related benefits introducing new health products and segments that are consumer focused. These include CIGNATURE Suite of products, including CIGNA Choice Fund, a Senior Care segment, and a Taft-Hartley government segment.

CIGNA Group Insurance integrates health and disability programs, reducing days lost from work.
The March of Dimes awards Ed Hanway, CIGNA’s chairman and chief executive officer, with the President’s Award for Leadership in 2004 in celebration of CIGNA’s support of March of Dimes.

2005

With focus on Health care, CIGNA expands Consumer Directed programs and receives top awards for “Best Health Plan Initiative for Consumer Directed Health Care” and “Best Technology Introduced by a Health Plan Organization for Employee/Consumer Choice.” Additionally CIGNA acquires Choicelinx, a benefits technology and services company based in Manchester, N.H, licenses the Bridges to Excellence program, and is chosen by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be a Medicare Part D prescription drug provider.

2006

CIGNA Chairman and CEO H. Edward Hanway receives the prestigious Marco Polo Award, the highest honor bestowed by China on a foreign business leader.

CIGNA acquires Star HRG, an operating division of HealthMarkets, Inc., and a leading provider of voluntary, limited benefit, low-cost health plans and other employee benefits coverage for hourly and part-time workers and their families.