Herbert Fritch, the man who founded Cigna-HealthSpring and grew it into one of the largest Medicare Advantage plans in the country, is retiring.
Fritch will leave his post as president effective November 11. He will stay on as an adviser through December 2017, Cigna Corp. said in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
M. Shawn Morris, chief operating officer for Cigna-HealthSpring, the Cigna unit offering Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, will take up Fritch's duties as interim president after he retires, the SEC filing states.
Fritch founded Nashville-based HealthSpring in 2000. In 2012, Cigna, acquired HealthSpring. The $3.8 billion deal marked a major Cigna expansion into senior and Medicare service lines. Fritch, who was previously chairman and CEO of HealthSpring before the merger, led that deal.
At the time of the merger announcement in October 2011, HealthSpring operated in 11 states and the District of Columbia with plans to expand into another state the following year. Through the acquisition, Cigna gained HealthSpring's 340,000 Medicare Advantage members as well as a large, national stand-alone Medicare prescription drug business with over 800,000 customers. Fritch personally collected $29.7 million through the buyout.
Cigna now offers Medicare Advantage plans in 15 states and D.C. through Cigna-HealthSpring, according to its 2015 annual report.
As president, Fritch's compensation totaled $3.6 million in 2015.
Morris joined HealthSpring in 2005 and held multiple leadership roles, including executive vice president, before Cigna's acquisition in 2012.