Insurer Humana, Starboard agree to add independent directors

Humana is adding two more independent directors to its board under an agreement with activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP.

The Medicare Advantage coverage provider said today that it will add one director before the company’s annual shareholder meeting April 21 and the other after the meeting. Two incumbent board members will then not stand for re-election at the next two meetings in what the company deems a “board refreshment.”

Counting those additions, Humana says it will have added seven new independent directors to its board over the past three years.

Humana provides coverage for more than 13 million people, mostly through plans for the dependents of U.S. military members and through Medicare Advantage, a privately run version of the federal government’s coverage program for people who are age 65 and older or have certain severe disabilities or illnesses.

The Louisville, Ky., company also has been moving deeper into offering primary care to people with Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans.

Other coverage providers and the drugstore chain Walgreens are taking a similar approach to offering care. The companies aim to connect more people with regular care to keep them healthy and ward off expensive claims like hospital stays.

Humana made $2.94 billion last year on more than $83 billion in revenue.

Shares of Humana Inc. climbed slightly to $422.71 in early trading today.