Case Study: Increasing Cultural Competency and Inclusion through Training

Cigna recognizes the importance of providing cultural competency education to stakeholders, in order to better equip them to understand and address disparities. The examples below represent a few of the ways in which we engaged and provided cultural competency education to stakeholders in 2019.


In 2019, Cigna employees completed nearly 9,300 cultural training modules. These modules include a cultural competency series as well as multiple cultural trainings focused on sub-populations. Participants learned how to deliver culturally responsive services, including understanding cultural values and practices of sub-populations; identifying and countering implicit bias; and establishing trust through cross-cultural communication.

We also implemented interactive web based Transgender Inclusion Awareness training in 2019. Available to all Cigna staff, this training supports our commitment to embrace diversity and to serve our transgender customers. Participants learn about transgender health disparities through the module and are asked to empathize with the challenges our transgender and gender non-binary customers face related to accessing health care services. Participants also learn how to comply with state and federal laws, including the Affordable Care Act, and gain the skills and the confidence to serve customers in a culturally responsive manner reflective of Cigna's mission.

Health Care Providers

Cigna is committed to broadening the cultural scope of the health care providers with whom we engage. Collaborative efforts include:

  • Cultural Competency Training and Resources – This program includes training series addressing topics such as diabetes among South Asians and engagement with Hispanic/Latino patients. These resources are available to providers at no cost and promoted through relationships such as our accountable care organizations (ACOs) via our Cultural Competency and Health Equity Resources website.
  • CultureVisionTM – An online database providing insights into more than 60 cultural communities.
  • Commonly used patient forms that have been translated into Spanish.
  • Language Service Discounts – Available to Cigna-contracted providers for translation and interpretation services, including video remote interpretation services.

Employer Clients

Cigna has sought to improve engagement in preventive health among the customers associated with employer clients that participate in our Health Disparities Advisory Council (HDAC). The HDAC consists of 14 employers/clients with significant populations of employees/customers from underrepresented communities. To help address mental health stigma among these employees/customers, Cigna piloted a client toolkit utilizing Stamp Out Stigma (SOS) – an initiative by the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW) to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.