February 1, 2018 / 2:42 PM / in a year

Cigna's corporate customer medical costs grew less than 3 percent

Cigna CEO David Cordani is interviewed at the Reuters Health Summit 2014 in Washington April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cigna Corp (CI.N), which manages healthcare benefits for some of the largest U.S. corporations, said on Thursday that medical costs among its customers grew less than 3 percent in 2017, below its expectations.

Chief Executive Officer David Cordani, speaking with analysts after reporting fourth-quarter earnings, said even that growth rate was unsustainable. Medical costs typically rise faster than inflation, and most insurers typically report annual increases of 6 percent, plus or minus 100 basis points.

Cordani was responding to analyst questions about a new healthcare venture announced by JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N), Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) and Amazon.com Inc Corp (AMZN.O), saying they needed to address too-high healthcare costs that were hurting business.

Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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