Building Healthy Habits That Last

Article | April 2021

Building Healthy Habits That Last

Two Cigna customers share how virtual tools and personalized coaching are helping them lose weight

For many people, losing weight is a journey – a challenging journey that requires lifestyle changes. It is often driven by other factors such as preventing serious health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Beginning this journey and staying on track can be lonely, but it doesn’t need to be. Many customers have a partner through the Cigna Diabetes Prevention Program with Omada Health® – and data shows it is working.

A study of Cigna medical customer data found that 19% of program participants lost 5% or more of their initial weight and maintained that weight loss in year one and 24% did the same through year two, with an average weight loss of 2.1% of body weight in year one and 4.1% through year two.1

The comprehensive program offers virtual personalized coaching, a digitally connected scale, weekly lessons on healthy eating, activity, sleep and stress management, and an online community of support.

“Personalized coaching, a community of peers and digital tools can make such a difference for people looking to make a positive change in their health,” said Joan Harvey, president of care solutions at Evernorth, Cigna Corporation’s health services business. “The Cigna Diabetes Prevention Program with Omada packages these tools so they can be used whenever and wherever customers need the support, so they never feel alone in their journey.”

Healthy lifestyle changes make a difference

John Howard, 58, joined the Cigna Diabetes Prevention Program with Omada because he was unhappy about the way he looked, and was worried about high cholesterol and his increasing blood pressure.

“I wasn’t sure I would find the time to follow through, but I was willing to give it a shot,” said Howard, a high school science teacher in Allegany County, Maryland.

Now, with the support of his coach, Howard has lost more than 40 pounds. He credits this to eating healthy foods and exercising.

“I treated this like a challenge, and I am proud of my weight loss and all the improvements I have made to my life,” said Howard. “I really enjoy walking, and I’m making more time to be outside and enjoy nature. And, I’m eating things I enjoy, but eating smarter.”

Cigna employee and customer Paul Donato always had plans to get in shape again, but it wasn’t until after his 45th birthday that he found the motivation to make long-lasting changes. He says the program keeps him motivated and helped him from getting discouraged, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I couldn’t control what was happening in the world, but I could control what I was doing,” he said.

Within the first four months of joining the program in 2019, Paul lost nearly 40 pounds. But he didn’t stop there and was able to add exercise to his healthy eating regimen and has lost a total of 129 pounds. His success can be defined in other ways too – running a 10K, keeping up with his kids on the basketball court and trying snowboarding for the first time.

“I’m no longer a spectator in life, I get to participate and it’s amazing,” said Donato.

Partnering for better health and ROI

In addition to the improved health experienced by participants, the program has shown it can reduce health costs for employers, with average savings of $348 in year one and $989 through year two, net of program fees, which equates to an average return on investment (ROI) of 1.7 in year one and 2.7 through year two. 1

"Our work with Cigna is the most integrated collaboration we’ve ever had at Omada. The vision was to create a seamless, simple and differentiated experience for people to improve their health,” said Sean Duffy, co-founder and CEO, Omada Health. “I’m thrilled to say the market recognizes our joint vision — the evidence is the more than 5.5 million customers with access to the program we have today. Both of our organizations should be very proud of our progress, and even more excited for what’s to come.”

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1. Cigna Diabetes Prevention Program with Omada claims study, October 2020, year 1 follow up data = 15,780 participants from 551 clients and year 2 follow up data = 4,253 participants from 413 clients.

Individual client and participant results may vary depending on individual health status at the start of the program and activity throughout the program. Results are not guaranteed.

The Omada® program is administered by Omada Health, Inc. While Omada Health is an independent company and not an affiliate of Cigna, Cigna has an investment interest in the company. Cigna does not endorse or guarantee the products or services of any third parties and assumes no liability with respect to any such products or services.

Product availability may vary by location and plan type and is subject to change. All group health insurance policies and health benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For costs and details of coverage, contact a Cigna representative.