Case Study: Cigna's Approach to Employee Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic created unique and unprecedented challenges for both employees and employers. Cigna responded to meet the needs of its over 70,000 employees by providing new and expanded benefits and resources to support employee well-being. Since our employees’ personal situations are all unique, we supported our workforce’s financial well-being in a variety of ways:

Financial Well-Being Support

During the unprecedented challenges presented in 2020, Cigna focused on sharing some new financial resources that provided more options to help employees deal with life’s day-to-day emergencies and the unexpected. Some of the resources included:

  • Low-cost loans through Kashable®. Kashable offers benefit-eligible employees in the United States, with at least six months of consecutive service, a reliable way to borrow money to pay down expensive debt, preserve retirement savings, and cover unexpected expenses with affordable loans that are repaid automatically through payroll.
  • Debt and credit counseling through GreenPath. GreenPath is non-profit organization that helps employees regain control of their finances with free initial debt counseling session with a certified expert who will help them understand individual financial situations and goals, explore debt management options, and determine a personalized action plan.
  • Student loan assistance tools and counseling, which enable employees to take a short assessment and discover how they may be able to lower their monthly payments through loan consolidation, or refinance existing loans.
  • Ability to schedule free 30-minute virtual coaching sessions with a retirement counselor.
  • Full adoption of retirement provisions under the Cares Act as they related to our 401(k) plan.
  • Cigna’s Care Card Program, which is designed to qualify as a disaster relief program under section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code, was conducted in partnership with our Cigna Behavioral Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The company issued over 8,000 Cigna Care Cards, each totaling $250, to employees in the last quarter of 2020 to provide financial support to qualifying employees with dependents under age 18.
  • We allowed for a great deal of flexibility for premiums for those on leave of absence during COVID-19. Retiree Health Care and COBRA are two examples of programs where we provided flexibility.
  • We allowed employees’ age-26 dependents to stay on the active Cigna Medical plan until the end of 2020, instead of aging them out and requiring them to elect COBRA.
  • To support those who left the company during the pandemic, we increased Cigna’s subsidy to our COBRA benefit to ensure that post-employment individuals would continue paying at or around the same costs for their medical coverage as they did when they were active employees. This ensured that no one went without critical health coverage due to affordability issues.