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In 2020, Cigna focused on delivering peace of mind to our stakeholders during unprecedented times. We have taken actions to provide financial support and remove uncertainty for our customers. Additionally, we have increased flexibility for providers, supported behavioral health in our communities as well as community partners, and cared for our employees around the world.
In this Cigna Connects Corporate Responsibility Report, we have included this dedicated page summarizing Cigna’s multidimensional approach to serving stakeholders during the COVID-19 response in 2020. Please visit our Newsroom and our COVID-19 Resource Center for continuing updates on Cigna's COVID-19 actions.
Providing Financial Support for Customers1
- Removed cost as a barrier by waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19-related diagnostic visits, testing, telehealth screenings, and treatment.2
- Protected customers from surprise bills from out-of-network providers for COVID-19 care through the Customer Protection Program.
- Expanded our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for customers and household members.
- Created the Cigna’s Care Card Program, so that employers can provide tax-free financial assistance to employees for qualified disaster-relief payments, such as medical payments, groceries, child care, and wellness services.
- Expanded financial assistance to fully insured group dental clients3 by issuing one-month premium credits.
Ensuring Access to Care
- Created the COVID-19 Command Center to respond comprehensively to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Expanded virtual care offerings, including virtual wellness screenings in partnership with MDLIVE® and virtual maternity care in select markets, increasing virtual care by three times.
- Continued providing free standard shipping of up to 90-day supplies for prescription maintenance medications and 24/7 access to pharmacists.
- Provided digital behavioral health care tools to customers and patients including Happify, iPrevail and Talkspace, and SilverCloud Health.
- Helped customers get COVID-19 care in the safety of their home from Medocity.
- Maintained in-home medication infusions by Accredo nurses so vulnerable patients had the option to avoid travel.
- Implemented protective quantity limits on select medications to guarantee access and protect supply.
- Waived prior authorizations for transfers, emergency department visits, and home health care services.
- Provided virtual care for non-COVID-19 issues to customers at the standard in-office benefit.
- Offered at-home acute and advanced illness care.
- Developed a COVID-19 High-Risk Patient Report, which identifies the members at highest risk of adverse outcomes with COVID-19 infection.
- Offered Cigna Dental Virtual Care powered by The TeleDentists to Cigna Dental customers.
Supporting Our Employer Clients
- Launched Express Scripts Parachute RxSM to provide prescription drug cost relief for people temporarily without drug coverage.
- Provided financial relief to guaranteed cost group clients through the Guaranteed Cost Client Relief program.
- Activated our COVID-19 Analytics Suite heat maps to assist O500/National client office reopening strategy.
- Created Healthy Ways to WorkSM, which provides companies with a diverse set of capabilities to more forward and keep people healthy long-term by addressing both the immediate needs and the evolving nature of the crisis.
Taking Care of Our Workforce
- Provided financial resources to employees to help with day-to-day emergencies and the unexpected. These resources included: low cost loans through Kashable, debt and credit counseling through GreenPath, student loan assistance tools and counseling, and full adoption of retirement provisions under the Cares Act as they related to our 401(k) Plan.
- Launched Project Lemonade to respond to employee needs from a talent management standpoint during COVID-19.
- In less than one month’s time, transitioned nearly 100 percent of global employees who could do so to work at home, until further notice.
- Provided 10 Emergency Time Off days (80 hours) for U.S. employees to use for COVID-19-related absences, including time away from work to get vaccinated, through December 31, 2021.
- Lifted restriction on Paid Time Off (PTO) being used before its accrual, until further notice.
- Provided a 20 percent pay premium to U.S.-based employees with worksite-dependent roles.3
- Through the Cigna Foundation, created an employee-focused COVID-19 resource site on Cigna’s intranet.
- Launched a podcast for employees specifically to address COVID-19-related issues and concerns.
- Created an Employee Relief Fund to help employees experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Revamped Cigna’s Employee Health Advisory Team (EHAT) to help manage the COVID-19 Response process.
- Adopted a combination of measures to help protect those in worksite-dependent roles and limit the spread of COVID-19 at our worksites, including mandating physical distancing; installing of barriers; mandating the use of face masks; providing guidance on use of personal protective equipment (PPE); launching Helping Employees: Cloth Face Coverings campaign for employees to make masks for worksite-essential coworkers; when necessary, making improvements to building ventilation; ensuring continued supply of hand sanitizer for good hygiene; and routinely cleaning and disinfecting.
- Leveraged employee pulse surveys and focus groups during COVID-19 to understand our employees’ varied experiences and then created a variety of digital and programmatic resources for employees to utilize.
- Eliminated the eligibility requirement for leave to care for a sick family member, when the illness in question is COVID-19.4
- Created a personal protective equipment (PPE) Command Center that delivered PPE to thousands of customers and Cigna clinical teams across the country.5
- Enhanced our employee recognition program, Cigna Standout, to strengthen recognition for our employees.
Supporting the Medical Community
- The Cigna Foundation6 launched the Brave of Heart Fund in partnership with the New York Life Foundation to provide financial and emotional support to the families of frontline U.S. health care workers who gave their lives in the fight against COVID-19.
- Made it easier for hospitals to transfer patients to long-term acute care hospitals and subacute facilities.
- Donated medications to Washington University for a clinical trial on COVID-19 treatment.
Strengthening the Resilience of Communities
- Launched an industry-first partnership with The National Emergency Responder and Public Safety Center to provide training to behavioral health providers to address the unique behavioral health needs of emergency responders.
- The Cigna Foundation donated $250,000 toward COVID-19 relief efforts in China during the earliest days of the pandemic.
- Created a COVID-19 Disparities Initiative that targeted several communities (Memphis, Houston, and South Florida) and employer clients in the delivery of a comprehensive campaign to protect, prepare, and support customers around COVID-19.
Advocating for Whole Person Health
- Launched a 24/7 toll-free behavioral health support line for the public to speak with behavioral health clinicians.
- Provided free on-demand supportive resources for customers and the general public, such as online articles, podcasts, and webinars to help manage fear and anxiety and build resiliency.
- Helped provide much-needed protections for high-risk communities through Cigna’s Health Improvement Tour, which provided free flu shots, as well as PPE and COVID-19-related resources in multiple locations including Memphis, Houston, and South Florida.
- Sent more than 5,000 greeting cards to seniors from our employers and their families.
- With the goal of mitigating loneliness, called more than 148,000 Medicare Advantage customers as part of our Social Connector Program. Of the nearly 65,000 contacted, 50 percent opted in to the follow-up calls that we offered.
1Cigna did not request or retain any proceeds under the CARES Act.
2Enhanced 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 Cigna’s 20 percent pay premium for worksite-dependent employees – in recognition of the critical role these employees play in light of the pandemic – expired on November 1, 2020.
4This applies to fully insured group dental clients who had active dental premiums in May. The Cigna Dental Client Relief Program premium credit is pending approval or may be unavailable in Massachusetts. Subject to regulatory review, clients in Washington State will receive a 50 percent rate reduction on both July and August billed insured-product premium.
5Cigna previously required employees to work for one year and 1250 hours prior to taking leave to care for a sick family member.
6Cigna Leverages Diverse Supplier Partners to Keep Employees and Patients Safe. (2020, July). DiversityPlus Magazine. https://diversityplus.com/digital/dp_julaug2020/index.html.
7The Cigna Foundation is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation and its subsidiaries.