Analysis: Nature of Business, Basis of Reporting, Significant Accounting Policies, Revenues Recognition

Entity Registrant Name CIGNA Corporation
CIK 0000701221
Accession number 0001047469-14-001502
Link to XBRL instance
Fiscal year end --12-31
Fiscal year focus 2013
Fiscal period focus FY
Current balance sheet date 2013-12-31
Current year-to-date income statement start date 2013-01-01

Commentary Filer uses concept us-gaap:BasisOfAccountingPolicyPolicyTextBlock to express BASIS OF REPORTING which seems inconsistent with taxonomy documentation. Filer created extension concept ci:RevenueRecognitionPremiumsEarnedPolicyTextBlock to represent REVENUE RECOGNITION policy.

NATURE OF BUSINESS concept us-gaap:NatureOfOperations

Note 1 — Description of Business


Cigna Corporation and its subsidiaries (either individually or collectively referred to as “Cigna”, “the Company”, “we”, or “our”) is a global health services organization with a mission to help its customers improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Its insurance subsidiaries are major providers of medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services, the majority of which are offered through employers and other groups (e.g. governmental and nongovernmental organizations, unions and associations). Cigna also offers Medicare and Medicaid products and health, life and accident insurance coverages primarily to individuals in the U.S. and selected international markets. In addition to its ongoing operations described above, Cigna also has certain runoff operations, including a Runoff Reinsurance segment.



SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES concept us-gaap:SignificantAccountingPoliciesTextBlock

Note 2 — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


A.       Basis of Presentation


The Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of Cigna Corporation and its subsidiaries. Intercompany transactions and accounts have been eliminated in consolidation.  


These Consolidated Financial Statements were prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP”). Amounts recorded in the Consolidated Financial Statements necessarily reflect management's estimates and assumptions about medical costs, investment valuation, interest rates and other factors. Significant estimates are discussed throughout these Notes; however, actual results could differ from those estimates. The impact of a change in estimate is generally included in earnings in the period of adjustment. Certain reclassifications have been made to prior year amounts to conform to the current presentation.


In preparing these Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company has evaluated events that occurred between the balance sheet date and February 27, 2014.

Variable interest entities. As of December 31, 2013 and 2012 the Company determined it was not a primary beneficiary in any material variable interest entities.


B.       Changes in Accounting Pronouncements


Reporting of Amounts Reclassified Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (“AOCI”) (Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2013-02). Effective January 1, 2013, the Company adopted updated guidance from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) on reporting items of AOCI reclassified to net income. The updated guidance requires disclosures of the effect of items reclassified out of AOCI into net income on each individual line item in the statement of income. See Note 17 for the Company's updated disclosures.


Disclosures about Offsetting Assets and Liabilities (ASU 2011-11). The FASB's requirements to disclose information on both a

gross and net basis for certain derivatives, repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements, and securities borrowing and lending

transactions that are either offset in accordance with specific criteria or subject to a master netting or similar arrangement became

effective January 1, 2013. There were no effects to the Company's financial statements because no transactions or arrangements were

subject to these new disclosure requirements.


Investment Company Accounting (ASU 2013-08). The FASB issued accounting guidance to change the criteria for

reporting as an investment company, clarify the fair value measurement used by an investment company and require additional

disclosures. This guidance also confirms that parent company accounting for an investment company should reflect fair value

accounting and is effective beginning on January 1, 2014. Adoption of this standard is not expected to have a material impact on the

Company's financial statements.


Fees Paid to the Federal Government by Health Insurers (ASU 2011-06). In 2011, the FASB issued accounting guidance for the health insurance industry assessment (the “fee”) mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“Health Care Reform”). The fee will be levied on health insurers beginning in 2014 based on a ratio of an insurer's net health insurance premiums written for the previous calendar year compared to the U.S. health insurance industry total. In addition, because these fees will generally not be tax deductible, the Company's effective tax rate is expected to increase beginning in 2014. Under the guidance, the liability for the fee will be estimated and recorded in full each year beginning in 2014 when health insurance is first provided. A corresponding deferred cost will be recorded and amortized over the calendar year. The fee is expected to be approximately $230 million in 2014: $130 million related to the commercial business and $100 million related to the Medicare business. The Company anticipates recovering most of the industry fee related to our commercial business through rate increases. For the Company's Medicare business, although we expect to partially mitigate the effect of the fee through 2014 benefit changes and prices, the Company anticipates that its impact on earnings will be more significant than it will be for our commercial business.


Deferred acquisition costs. Effective January 1, 2012, the Company adopted the FASB's amended guidance (ASU 2010-26) on accounting for costs to acquire or renew insurance contracts. This guidance requires certain sales compensation and telemarketing costs related to unsuccessful efforts and any indirect costs to be expensed as incurred. The Company's deferred acquisition costs arise from sales and renewal activities primarily in its Global Supplemental Benefits segment. This amended guidance was implemented in 2012 through retrospective adjustment of comparative prior periods.



Presentation of Comprehensive Income. Effective January 1, 2012, the Company adopted the FASB's amended guidance (ASU 2011-05) that requires presenting net income and other comprehensive income in either a single continuous statement or in two separate, but consecutive statements. Neither measurement of comprehensive income nor disclosure requirements for reclassification adjustments between other comprehensive income and net income were affected by this amended guidance. The Company has elected to present a separate statement of comprehensive income following the statement of income and has retrospectively adjusted prior periods to conform to the new presentation, as required.


Amendments to Fair Value Measurement and Disclosure. Effective January 1, 2012, the Company adopted the FASB's amended guidance on fair value measurement and disclosure (ASU 2011-04) on a prospective basis. A key objective was to achieve common fair value measurement and disclosure requirements between GAAP and IFRS. The amended guidance changes certain fair value measurement principles and expands required disclosures to include quantitative and qualitative information about unobservable inputs in Level 3 measurements and leveling for financial instruments not carried at fair value in the financial statements. Upon adoption, there were no effects on the Company's fair value measurements. See Note 10 for expanded fair value disclosures.



C.       Investments


Fixed maturities and equity securities. Most fixed maturities (including bonds, mortgage and other asset-backed securities and preferred stocks redeemable by the investor) and some equity securities are classified as available for sale and are carried at fair value with changes in fair value recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) within shareholders' equity. The Company records impairment losses in net income for fixed maturities with fair value below amortized cost that meet either of the following conditions:


  • If the Company intends to sell or determines that it is more likely than not to be required to sell these fixed maturities before their fair values recover, an impairment loss is recognized for the excess of the amortized cost over fair value.
  • If the net present value of projected future cash flows of a fixed maturity (based on qualitative and quantitative factors, including the probability of default, and the estimated timing and amount of recovery) is below the amortized cost basis, that difference is recognized as an impairment loss. For mortgage and asset-backed securities, estimated future cash flows are also based on assumptions about the collateral attributes including prepayment speeds, default rates and changes in value.


Commercial mortgage loans. These loans are made exclusively to commercial borrowers at a fixed rate of interest. Commercial mortgage loans are carried at unpaid principal balances or, if impaired, the lower of unpaid principal or fair value of the underlying real estate. If the fair value of the underlying real estate is less than unpaid principal of an impaired loan, a valuation reserve is recorded and adjusted each period for changes in fair value. Commercial mortgage loans are considered impaired when it is probable that the Company will not collect amounts due according to the terms of the original loan agreement. The Company monitors credit risk and assesses the impairment of loans individually and on a consistent basis for all loans in the portfolio. The Company estimates the fair value of the underlying real estate using internal valuations generally based on discounted cash flow analyses. Certain commercial mortgage loans without valuation reserves are considered impaired because the Company will not collect all interest due according to the terms of the original agreements; however, the Company expects to recover the unpaid principal because it is less than the fair value of the underlying real estate.


Policy loans. Policy loans are carried at unpaid principal balances plus accumulated interest, the total of which approximates fair value. The loans are collateralized by life insurance policy cash values and therefore have no exposure to credit loss. Interest rates are reset annually based on an index.


Real estate. The Company carries investment real estate at depreciated cost less any write downs to fair value due to impairment and assesses impairment when cash flows indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. Depreciation is generally recorded using the straight-line method based on the estimated useful life of each asset. Investment real estate as of December 31, 2013 and 2012 is expected to be held longer than one year and includes real estate acquired through the foreclosure of commercial mortgage loans.


Other long-term investments. Other long-term investments include investments in unconsolidated entities. These entities include certain limited partnerships and limited liability companies holding real estate, securities or loans. These investments are carried at cost plus the Company's ownership percentage of reported income or loss in cases where the Company has significant influence, otherwise the investment is carried at cost. Income from certain entities is reported on a one quarter lag depending on when their financial information is received. Also included in other long-term investments are loans to unconsolidated real estate entities secured by the equity interests of these entities and carried at unpaid principal balances (mezzanine loans). Other long-term investments are considered impaired, and written down to their fair value, when cash flows indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. Fair value is generally determined based on a discounted cash flow analysis.


Additionally, other long-term investments include interest rate and foreign currency swaps carried at fair value. See Note 12 for information on the Company's accounting policies for these derivative financial instruments.


Short-term investments. Investments with maturities of greater than 90 days but less than one year from time of purchase are classified as short-term, available for sale and carried at fair value, which approximates cost.


Derivative financial instruments. The Company applies hedge accounting when derivatives are designated, qualify and are highly effective as hedges. Effectiveness is formally assessed and documented at inception and each period throughout the life of a hedge using various quantitative methods appropriate for each hedge, including regression analysis and dollar offset. Under hedge accounting, the changes in fair value of the derivative and the hedged risk are generally recognized together and offset each other when reported in shareholders' net income.


The Company accounts for derivative instruments as follows:


  • Derivatives are reported on the balance sheet at fair value with changes in fair values reported in shareholders' net income or accumulated other comprehensive income.
  • Changes in the fair value of derivatives that hedge market risk related to future cash flows and that qualify for hedge accounting are reported in accumulated other comprehensive income ( cash flow hedges”).
  • Changes in the fair value of a derivative instrument may not always equal changes in the fair value of the hedged item (referred to ashedge ineffectiveness”). The Company generally reports hedge ineffectiveness in realized investment gains and losses.
  • On early termination, the changes in fair value of derivatives that qualified for hedge accounting are reported in shareholders' net income (generally as part of realized investment gains and losses).


Net investment income. When interest and principal payments on investments are current, the Company recognizes interest income when it is earned. The Company recognizes interest income on a cash basis when interest payments are delinquent based on contractual terms or when certain terms (interest rate or maturity date) of the investment have been restructured.


Investment gains and losses. Realized investment gains and losses are based on specifically identified assets and result from sales, investment asset write-downs, changes in the fair values of certain derivatives and changes in valuation reserves on fixed maturities and commercial mortgage loans.


Unrealized gains and losses on fixed maturities and equity securities carried at fair value and certain derivatives are included in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of deferred income taxes and amounts required to adjust future policy benefits for the run-off settlement annuity business.


  • Cash and Cash Equivalents


    Cash equivalents consist of short-term investments with maturities of three months or less from the time of purchase. These instruments are classified as held to maturity and carried at amortized cost. The Company reclassifies cash overdraft positions to accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities when the legal right of offset does not exist.


  • Premiums, Accounts and Notes Receivable and Reinsurance Recoverables


Premiums, accounts and notes receivable are reported net of an allowance for doubtful accounts of $ 43 million as of December 31, 2013 and $ 51 million as of December 31, 2012. Reinsurance recoverables are estimates of amounts that the Company will receive from reinsurers and are recorded net of an allowance for unrecoverable reinsurance of $ 4 million as of December 31, 2013 and 2012. The Company estimates these allowances for doubtful accounts and unrecoverable reinsurance using management's best estimates of collectability, taking into consideration the age of the outstanding amounts, historical collection patterns and other economic factors.




F. Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs


Acquisition costs eligible for deferral include incremental, direct costs of acquisition of new or renewal insurance contracts and other costs directly related to successful contract acquisition. Examples of deferrable costs include commissions, sales compensation and benefits, policy issuance and underwriting costs and premium taxes. The Company records acquisition costs differently depending on the product line. Acquisition costs for:


  • Universal life products are deferred and amortized in proportion to the present value of total estimated gross profits over the expected lives of the contracts.
  • Supplemental health, life and accident insurance (primarily individual products) and group health and accident insurance products are deferred and amortized, generally in proportion to the ratio of periodic revenue to the estimated total revenues over the contract periods.
  • Other products are expensed as incurred.


Deferred policy acquisition costs also include the value of business acquired with the supplemental benefits business in 2012. See Note 3 for additional information.


Each year, deferred policy acquisition costs are tested for recoverability. For universal life and other individual products, management estimates the present value of future revenues less expected payments. For group health and accident insurance products, management estimates the sum of unearned premiums and anticipated net investment income less future expected claims and related costs. If management's estimates of these sums are less than the deferred costs, the Company reduces deferred policy acquisition costs and records an expense. The Company recorded amortization for policy acquisition costs of $255 million in 2013, $218 million in 2012 and $259 million in 2011 in other operating expenses.


  • Property and Equipment


    Property and equipment is carried at cost less accumulated depreciation. When applicable, cost includes interest, real estate taxes and other costs incurred during construction. Also included in this category is internal-use software that is acquired, developed or modified solely to meet the Company's internal needs, with no plan to market externally. Costs directly related to acquiring, developing or modifying internal-use software are capitalized.


    The Company calculates depreciation and amortization principally using the straight-line method generally based on the estimated useful life of each asset as follows: buildings and improvements, 10 to 40 years; purchased software, one to five years; internally developed software, three to seven years; and furniture and equipment (including computer equipment), three to 10 years. Improvements to leased facilities are depreciated over the remaining lease term or the estimated life of the improvement. The Company considers events and circumstances that would indicate the carrying value of property, equipment or capitalized software might not be recoverable. If the Company determines the carrying value of any of these assets is not recoverable, an impairment charge is recorded. See Note 8 for additional information.


  • Goodwill


    Goodwill represents the excess of the cost of businesses acquired over the fair value of their net assets. The resulting goodwill is assigned to those reporting units expected to realize cash flows from the acquisition, allocated to reporting units based on relative fair values and reported in the Global Health Care segment ($5.7 billion) and the Global Supplemental Benefits segment ($340 million). The Company evaluates goodwill for impairment at least annually during the third quarter at the reporting unit level and writes it down through results of operations if impaired. Fair value of a reporting unit is generally estimated based on a discounted cash flow analysis using assumptions that the Company believes a hypothetical market participant would use to determine a current transaction price. The significant assumptions and estimates used in determining fair value include the discount rate and future cash flows. A range of discount rates is used that corresponds with the reporting unit's weighted average cost of capital, consistent with that used for investment decisions considering the specific and detailed operating plans and strategies within the reporting units. In 2013, the resulting discounted cash flow analyses indicated that estimated fair values for the reporting units significantly exceeded their carrying values, including goodwill and other intangibles. Our Cigna-HealthSpring business contracts with CMS and various state governmental agencies to provide managed health care services, including Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare-approved prescription drug plans.  Revenues from the Medicare programs are dependent, in whole or in part, upon annual funding from the federal government through CMS.  Funding for these programs is dependent on many factors including general economic conditions, continuing government efforts to contain health care costs and budgetary constraints at the federal level and general political issues and priorities.  Future changes in the funding for these programs by the federal government could substantially reduce our revenues and profitability and have a significant impact on the fair value of this reporting unit. See Note 8 for additional information.  


  • Other Assets, including Other Intangibles


Other assets primarily consist of guaranteed minimum income benefits (“GMIB”) assets and various insurance-related assets. The Company's other intangible assets include purchased customer and producer relationships, provider networks, and trademarks. The Company amortizes other intangibles on an accelerated or straight-line basis over periods from 1 to 30 years. Management revises amortization periods if it believes there has been a change in the length of time that an intangible asset will continue to have value. Costs incurred to renew or extend the terms of these intangible assets are generally expensed as incurred. See Notes 8 and 10 for additional information.

J.       Separate Account Assets and Liabilities


Separate account assets and liabilities are contractholder funds maintained in accounts with specific investment objectives. The assets of these accounts are legally segregated and are not subject to claims that arise out of any of the Company's other businesses. These separate account assets are carried at fair value with equal amounts for related separate account liabilities. The investment income, gains and losses of these accounts generally accrue to the contractholders and, together with their deposits and withdrawals, are excluded from the Company's Consolidated Statements of Income and Cash Flows. Fees and charges earned for asset management or administrative services and mortality risks are reported in premiums and fees.


K.       Contractholder Deposit Funds

Liabilities for contractholder deposit funds primarily include deposits received from customers for investment-related and universal life products and investment earnings on their fund balances. These liabilities are adjusted to reflect administrative charges and, for universal life fund balances, mortality charges. In addition, this caption includes: 1) premium stabilization reserves representing experience refunds under group insurance contracts left with the Company to pay future premiums; 2) deposit administration funds used to fund non-pension retiree insurance programs; 3) retained asset accounts; and 4) annuities or supplementary contracts without significant life contingencies. Interest credited on these funds is accrued ratably over the contract period.

  • Future Policy Benefits


Future policy benefits represent the present value of estimated future obligations under long-term life and supplemental health insurance policies and annuity products currently in force. These obligations are estimated using actuarial methods and primarily consist of reserves for annuity contracts, life insurance benefits, guaranteed minimum death benefit (“GMDB”) contracts (see Note 7 for additional information) and certain health, life, and accident insurance products in our Global Supplemental Benefits segment.


Obligations for annuities represent specified periodic benefits to be paid to an individual or groups of individuals over their remaining lives. Obligations for life insurance policies represent benefits to be paid to policyholders, net of future premiums to be received. Management estimates these obligations based on assumptions as to premiums, interest rates, mortality and surrenders, allowing for adverse deviation. Mortality, morbidity, and surrender assumptions are based on either the Company's own experience or actuarial tables. Interest rate assumptions are based on management's judgment considering the Company's experience and future expectations, and range from 1% to 9%. Obligations for the run-off settlement annuity business include adjustments for investment returns consistent with requirements of GAAP when a premium deficiency exists.


Liabilities for GMDB contracts represent the excess of the guaranteed death benefit over the contractholder's account values. See also Note 7 for additional information.


  • Unpaid Claims and Claims Expenses


Liabilities for unpaid claims and claim expenses are estimates of future payments under insurance coverages (primarily long-term disability, life and health) for reported claims and for losses incurred but not yet reported. When estimates of these liabilities change, the Company immediately records the adjustment in benefits and expenses.


The Company consistently estimates incurred but not yet reported losses using actuarial principles and assumptions based on historical and projected claim incidence patterns, claim size, subrogation recoveries and the expected payment period. The Company recognizes the actuarial best estimate of the ultimate liability within a level of confidence, consistent with actuarial standards of practice that the liabilities be adequate under moderately adverse conditions.


The Company's liability for disability claims reported but not yet paid is the present value of estimated future benefit payments over the expected disability period. The Company projects the expected disability period by using historical resolution rates combined with an analysis of current trends and operational factors to develop current estimates of resolution rates. Using the Company's experience, expected claim resolution rates may vary based upon the anticipated disability period, the covered benefit period, cause of disability, benefit design and the policyholder's age, gender and income level. The gross monthly benefit is reduced (offset) by disability income received under other benefit programs, such as Social Security Disability Income, workers' compensation, statutory disability or other group disability benefit plans. For offsets not yet finalized, the Company estimates the probability and amount of the offset based on the Company's experience over the past three to five years.


The Company discounts certain unpaid claim liabilities because benefit payments are made over extended periods. Substantially all of these liabilities are associated with the group long-term disability business. Discount rate assumptions for that business are based on projected investment returns for the asset portfolios that support these liabilities and range from 3.95% to 5.45%. Discounted liabilities were $3.5 billion at December 31, 2013 and $3.2 billion at December 31, 2012.


N.       Global Health Care Medical Claims Payable


Medical claims payable for the Global Health Care segment include reported claims, estimates for losses incurred but not yet reported and liabilities for services rendered by providers as well as liabilities under risk-sharing and quality management arrangements with providers. The Company uses actuarial principles and assumptions consistently applied each reporting period and recognizes the actuarial best estimate of the ultimate liability within a level of confidence. This approach is consistent with actuarial standards of practice that the liabilities be adequate under moderately adverse conditions.


The liability is primarily calculated using “completion factors” developed by comparing the claim incurral date to the date claims were paid. Completion factors are impacted by several key items including changes in: 1) electronic (auto-adjudication) versus manual claim processing, 2) provider claims submission rates, 3) membership and 4) the mix of products. The Company uses historical completion factors combined with an analysis of current trends and operational factors to develop current estimates of completion factors. The Company estimates the liability for claims incurred in each month by applying the current estimates of completion factors to the current paid claims data. This approach implicitly assumes that historical completion rates will be a useful indicator for the current period.


For the more recent months, the Company relies on medical cost trend analysis that reflects expected claim payment patterns and other relevant operational considerations. Medical cost trend is primarily impacted by medical service utilization and unit costs that are affected by changes in the level and mix of medical benefits offered, including inpatient, outpatient and pharmacy, the impact of copays and deductibles, changes in provider practices and changes in consumer demographics and consumption behavior.


For each reporting period, the Company compares key assumptions used to establish the medical claims payable to actual experience. When actual experience differs from these assumptions, medical claims payable are adjusted through current period shareholders' net income. Additionally, the Company evaluates expected future developments and emerging trends that may impact key assumptions. The estimation process involves considerable judgment, reflecting the variability inherent in forecasting future claim payments. These estimates are highly sensitive to changes in the Company's key assumptions, specifically completion factors and medical cost trends.


  • Redeemable Noncontrolling Interest


    The redeemable noncontrolling interest primarily comprises the preferred and common stock interests not purchased by the Company in its acquisition of Finans Emeklilik in 2012 (see Note 3A for further information). The holder may require the Company to purchase the 49% redeemable noncontrolling interest at a redemption value equal to its net assets in Finans Emeklilik and the value of its in-force business in 15 years. Cigna also has the right to require the holder to sell its 49% interest to Cigna for the same value in 15 years.  The redeemable noncontrolling interest was recorded at fair value on the date of purchase.  Subsequently, if the estimated redemption value exceeds the recorded value for the redeemable noncontrolling interest, an adjustment to increase the redeemable noncontrolling interest will be recorded by charging shareholders' net income.


  • Accounts Payable, Accrued Expenses and Other Liabilities


    Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities consist principally of liabilities for pension, other postretirement and postemployment benefits (see Note 9), GMIB contracts (see Note 10), self-insured exposures, management compensation, cash overdraft positions and various insurance-related liabilities, including experience rated refunds, the minimum medical loss ratio rebate accrual under Health Care Reform, and reinsurance contracts. Legal costs to defend the Company's litigation and arbitration matters are expensed when incurred in cases where the Company cannot reasonably estimate the ultimate cost to defend. In cases where the Company can reasonably estimate the cost to defend, a liability for these costs is accrued when the claim is reported.


  • Translation of Foreign Currencies


    The Company generally conducts its international business through foreign operating entities that maintain assets and liabilities in local currencies that are generally their functional currencies. The Company uses exchange rates as of the balance sheet date to translate assets and liabilities into U.S. dollars. Translation gains or losses on functional currencies, net of applicable taxes, are recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). The Company uses average monthly exchange rates during the year to translate revenues and expenses into U.S. dollars.


  • Premiums and Fees, Revenues and Related Expenses


    Premiums for group life, accident and health insurance and managed care coverages are recognized as revenue on a pro rata basis over the contract period. Benefits and expenses are recognized when incurred. For experience-rated contracts, premium revenue includes an adjustment for experience-rated refunds which is calculated according to contract terms and using the customer's experience (including estimates of incurred but not reported claims). Premium revenue also includes an adjustment to reflect the estimated effect of rebates due to customers under the commercial minimum medical loss ratio provisions of Health Care Reform.


    Premiums for individual life, accident and supplemental health insurance and annuity products, excluding universal life and investment-related products, are recognized as revenue when due. Benefits and expenses are matched with premiums.


    Premiums and fees received for the Company's Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D products from customers and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are recognized as revenue ratably over the contract period. CMS provides risk-adjusted premium payments for the Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D products, based on the demographics and health severity of enrollees. The Company recognizes periodic changes to risk-adjusted premiums as revenue when the amounts are determinable and collection is reasonably assured. Additionally, Medicare Part D includes payments from CMS for risk sharing adjustments. The risk sharing adjustments that are estimated quarterly based on claim experience, compare actual incurred drug benefit costs to estimated costs submitted in original contracts and may result in more or less revenue from CMS. Final revenue adjustments are determined through an annual settlement with CMS that occurs after the contract year.


    Revenue for investment-related products is recognized as follows:


  • Net investment income on assets supporting investment-related products is recognized as earned.
  • Contract fees that are based upon related administrative expenses are recognized in premiums and fees as they are earned ratably over the contract period.


Benefits and expenses for investment-related products consist primarily of income credited to policyholders in accordance with contract provisions.


Revenue for universal life products is recognized as follows:


  • Net investment income on assets supporting universal life products is recognized as earned.
  • Fees for mortality and surrender charges are recognized as assessed, that is as earned.
  • Administration fees are recognized as services are provided.


Benefits and expenses for universal life products consist of benefit claims in excess of policyholder account balances. Expenses are recognized when claims are submitted, and income is credited to policyholders in accordance with contract provisions.


Contract fees and expenses for administrative services only (“ASO”) programs and pharmacy programs and services are recognized as services are provided net of estimated refunds under performance guarantees. In some cases, the Company provides performance guarantees associated with meeting certain service standards, clinical outcomes or financial metrics. If these service standards, clinical outcomes or financial metrics are not met, the Company may be financially at risk up to a stated percentage of the contracted fee or a stated dollar amount. The Company establishes deferred revenues for estimated payouts associated with these performance guarantees. Approximately 14% of ASO fees reported for the year ended December 31, 2013 were at risk, with reimbursements estimated to be approximately 1%.


The unrecognized portion of premiums and fees received is recorded as unearned premiums and fees.


Mail order pharmacy revenues and cost of goods sold are recognized as each prescription is shipped.


  • Stock Compensation


    The Company records compensation expense for stock awards and options over their vesting periods primarily based on the estimated fair value at the grant date. For stock options, fair value is estimated using an option-pricing model, whereas for restricted stock grants and units fair value is equal to the market price of the Company's common stock on the date of grant. Compensation expense for strategic performance shares is recorded over the performance period. For strategic performance shares with payment dependent on a market condition, fair value is determined at the grant date using a Monte Carlo simulation model and not subsequently adjusted regardless of the final outcome. For strategic performance shares with payment dependent on performance conditions, expense is initially accrued based on the most likely outcome, but evaluated for adjustment each period for updates in the expected outcome. At the end of the performance period, expense is adjusted to the actual outcome (number of shares awarded times the share price at the grant date).


  • Participating Business


    The Company's participating life insurance policies entitle policyholders to earn dividends that represent a portion of the earnings of the Company's life insurance subsidiaries. Participating insurance accounted for approximately 1% of the Company's total life insurance in force at the end of 2013, 2012 and 2011.


  • Income Taxes


    The Company generally recognizes deferred income taxes for differences between the financial reporting and income tax reporting carrying values of assets and liabilities. Deferred income taxes are established based upon enacted tax rates and laws. A valuation allowance is recorded when the assessment of available evidence indicates there is a less than 50% likelihood that a deferred tax asset will be realized. Current income taxes generally represent amounts owed to or due from taxing authorities as related to filed income tax returns.


    The Company records income taxes on the unremitted earnings of certain foreign subsidiaries at the foreign jurisdiction tax rate which can be significantly lower than the U.S. statutory tax rate.


    Note 19 contains detailed information about the Company's income taxes.


  • Earnings Per Share


The Company computes basic earnings per share using the weighted-average number of unrestricted common and deferred shares outstanding. Diluted earnings per share also includes the dilutive effect of outstanding employee stock options and unvested restricted stock granted after 2009 using the treasury stock method and the effect of strategic performance shares.





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