We understand that improving the health and well-being of our customers doesn’t stop at the individual level. Our customers are part of communities and when their communities face challenges, they do too. Consequently, strengthening communities is vitally important to us at Cigna. We are taking action to promote resilience in our communities so that they are better equipped to bounce back after experiencing adversity. We are doing this by reducing our impact on the environment and contributing to conversations about the link between climate change, human health, and planetary health; building more sustainable health care systems and advancing health equity; and supporting communities experiencing global health emergencies and extreme weather events.1 In order to strengthen and amplify our efforts, we actively engage and solicit feedback from our stakeholders.
Serving Customers and Strengthening Communities During Natural Disasters
Understanding that climate change and environmental risk pose unique challenges to clients and communities, specifically health and public health systems, we maintain an online Disaster Resource Center for first responders, health plan customers, and employer clients. The site is continually updated by our Employee Assistance Consultant team, which has intimate knowledge of our provider network and can make real-time updates to help impacted stakeholders.
We also support customers during extreme weather events through our Customer Disaster Response Program, which offers access to trained clinicians through our Employee Assistance Program; on-site Critical Incident support; and flexibility to make temporary policy changes, such as waiving various medical requirements, refilling prescriptions, and expanding our help line to proactively address customer service issues and provide personal assistance and support for all affected by a disaster.
In addition to directly supporting our customers through these resources, the Cigna Foundation provides support to communities impacted by extreme weather events through charitable contributions and partnerships with credible, leading disaster relief organizations.
We work to ensure that services to customers, employer client, and health care professionals are not interrupted by extreme weather events by following the procedures set forth by Cigna’s Business Continuity Program.
Advancing the Conversation on the Link between Climate Change and Human Health
We recognize that we have an important role to play in creating community resilience by reducing our environmental impact as an organization and advancing the conversation on the link between climate change, human health, and planetary health.
We describe the steps that we are taking as an enterprise to manage and reduce our environmental footprint in this report and our Environmental Policy Statement. We communicate our environmental performance to Cigna leadership, including reporting to the Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors, CEO, and the Cigna Connects Corporate Responsibility Governance Council. Board-level oversight of Cigna's environmental strategy and policy is provided by the Corporate Governance Committee. We transparently report on our actions and enterprise-level oversight of this portfolio of work because we believe that our environmental stewardship efforts as a company are critical to strengthening our communities.
Outside of our enterprise-level strategy and framework, we raise awareness about environmental stewardship among employees and customers. We empower employees to take action through job aids, information in the Employee Handbook, and the employee-led environmental action-oriented program called GreenSTEPS (“Sustainability Team for Environmental Protection and Stewardship”). The GreenSTEPS team works on a variety of projects, such as offering a sustainability scavenger hunt for children, holding an Electric Vehicle Experience Day, hosting environmental fairs, creating internal sustainability communications, and planting a vegetable garden on the grounds of our corporate headquarters. In addition to being internal advocates for Cigna's environmental sustainability efforts, our GreenSTEPS members also engage with their communities through local environmental projects. For example, members of the GreenSTEPS and Service Operations teams volunteered their time to help build the first production-scale aquaponics system near our corporate headquarters. We also empower our customers to reduce their environmental impact by providing them with the option to receive paperless statements, submit claims online, use direct deposit, and view plan information through myCigna and the myCigna® App.
Disseminating information about the link between human and planetary health is also of the utmost importance to us. We participate in and support local, national, and international discussions about climate change – specifically the connection between planetary health and human health through engagement with our community partners, business partners, industry associations, and intergovernmental organizations. Our collaborations in 2019 included sponsoring the University of Connecticut’s partnership with Net Impact on a Supply Chain Sustainability MBA Case Competition and participating in the United Nations Global Compact’s (UNGC) Health is Everyone’s Business Platform.
Building Sustainable Health Care Systems and Reducing Health Disparities
Building sustainable health care systems and reducing health disparities are vital to protecting individuals and communities from health security threats, including climate change, and fostering community resiliency. Cigna has been a tireless champion of these causes and in 2019 we were able to bring our considerable resources to bear as a combined organization to advance these issues even further.
In redefining the future of health care to create a system of “well care,” we are minimizing the chance of illness and disease and impacting the health care system in a meaningful way that will promote community resilience. Similarly, in championing Accountable Care Organizations we are turning the traditional health care business model on its head and advancing a system of care that privileges outcomes over service volume, reducing costs and saving time as well as lives. Our whole person health approach to health care, which focuses on the mind-body connection and patient-centered care, is another way in which we are disrupting the traditional health care system and building a more sustainable one.
Health equity is not only a business imperative and long-term company commitment for Cigna, it is a crucial contributor to protecting individuals and communities from the negative health impacts associated with climate change and to advancing community resilience. Over the past decade, Cigna has been a key advocate of health equity at the national level and actively shares best practices related to addressing health disparities and advancing equitable health care with other health care companies, employer groups, and clients. We also work closely with customers and health advocates in the public and private sectors to address health disparities that plague many people and communities. Our company has made a long-term commitment to improving health equity in the marketplace – deploying strategic and operational resources to improve access to affordable high-quality health care.
Serving Customers and Strengthening Communities during COVID-19 Pandemic
Please note, the information below is as of May 8, 2020. Please visit our Newsroom on Cigna.com for further updates.
As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, Cigna remains focused on delivering peace of mind during these unprecedented times. We have taken actions to drive affordability and remove uncertainty for our customers, increase flexibility for providers, support mental health in our communities, and care for our colleagues around the world. To date, these actions include:
Answering the Call for Affordability
- Cigna has not requested or retained any proceeds under the CARES Act.
- Launched the Consumer Protection Program to safeguard customers from surprise bills from out-of-network providers for COVID-19 care.
- Launched Express Scripts Parachute RxSM to provide prescription drug cost relief to Americans who are newly uninsured due to the pandemic.
Ensuring Access to Care
- Offered free standard shipping of up to 90-day supplies for prescription maintenance medications and 24/7 access to pharmacists.
- Implemented protective quantity limits on select medications to guarantee access and protect supply.
- Deployed hundreds of Cigna clinicians to telehealth provider MDLIVE to increase capacity.
- Provided Buoy Health symptom checker for U.S. Cigna customers and Express Scripts members, and the multilingual symptom checker Infermedica for international customers.
- Maintained in-home medication infusions by Accredo nurses so vulnerable patients can avoid travel.
- Expanded our Employee Assistance Program services for Cigna customers and household members.
- Added a new furlough package that offers a prescription savings program (Inside Rx), a dental savings card, and more for customers.
Supporting the Medical Community
- Made it easier for hospitals to transfer patients to long-term acute care hospitals and subacute facilities.
- Waived prior authorizations for patient transfers, emergency department visits, and home health care services.
- Donated medications to Washington University for a clinical trial on COVID-19 treatment.
Advocating Whole Person Health
- Launched a social connector initiative for Medicare Advantage customers to help mitigate feelings of loneliness.
- Offered free on-demand webinars and other resources to the public to help manage fear and anxiety while building resiliency.
- Created a 24/7 toll-free help line for the public to speak with behavioral health clinicians.
- Established partnership with SilverCloud Health, a digital mental health platform for Express Scripts clients and members.
- Sent 5,000+ greeting cards to seniors from our employees and their families.
Taking Care of Our Workforce
- All U.S. employees able to do so are working from home until further notice.
- Allotted 10 Emergency Time Off (ETO) days (80 hours) for our U.S. colleagues to use for COVID-19-related absences through 2020.
- Lifted the restriction on Paid Time Off (PTO) being used before it is accrued, until further notice.
- U.S.-based employees with worksite essential roles receive a 20% pay premium.
- Created an employee-focused COVID-19 resource site on our company’s intranet.
- Enhanced our employee recognition program, Cigna Standout, to strengthen recognition for our employees during this time.
Assisting Our Communities
- Cigna and the Cigna Foundation3 have:
- - Launched the Brave of Heart Fund with a $25 million grant to provide financial assistance to survivors of frontline U.S. healthcare workers who gave their lives in the fight against COVID-19. The Fund was created in partnership with the New York Life Foundation. Cigna will also provide emotional support services to their families.
- - Committed over $1 million to nonprofits addressing food insecurity and health care support needs in the U.S.
- - Donated $250K toward relief efforts in China during the earliest days of the outbreak.
1 Community resilience is the sustained ability of a community to use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations.
2 Enhanced coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, office exams, telehealth screenings and virtual care applies to customers in the United States who are covered under Cigna's employer/union-sponsored insured group health plans, insured plans for globally mobile individuals, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and the Individual and Family insurance plans. Self-insured group health plans administered by Cigna have an opportunity to opt out of these benefits.
3 The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation and its subsidiaries.