LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Louisville-based Humana Inc. has updated its “change in control” policy entitling high-level executives to severance payments if they are demoted or laid off following a sale or merger of the company.

Humana disclosed the change in an SEC filing late on Wednesday, the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Analysts continue to speculate about Humana being a takeover target nearly a year following the breakdown of its planned merger with rival Aetna.

But Humana spokesman Tom Noland described the change to the company’s policy as a housekeeping matter.

“Our change in control approach had not been refreshed since 2011, and this revision aligns us with market best practices,” Noland said in an email Wednesday. “It moves us to a common policy instead of individual agreements.”

Earlier this month, Humana announced it would sell its money-losing long term care insurance business, a move that may be "cleaning house" for another attempt at selling the company, Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte wrote in a note to clients on Nov. 8.

She has speculated that rival health insurer Cigna and Express Scripts Holdings Co., the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager, could be interested in Humana. Cigna had it owns ill-fated merger attempt with health insurer Anthem, a deal that fell apart soon after Humana and Aetna's break up earlier this year. 

But Wells Fargo Securities analyst Peter Costa said in a note to clients on Nov. 8 that there were "fading expectations" for a Cigna-Humana merger.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.