CLAYMONT, Del., February 08, 2011 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) customers now have access to high-quality medical care on military bases in Afghanistan through new agreements establishing onsite health care clinics on the Kandahar and Bagram air bases. The new clinics serve government contractors and other employees working in Afghanistan and are endorsed by the U.S. military, which, in 2008, began encouraging contractors to develop alternatives to military hospitals for routine care. Cigna covers approximately 20,000 customers currently in Afghanistan.
To make the clinics possible, Cigna, the global leader in benefits for expatriates and other globally mobile individuals, forged new relationships with TMH Medical Services and Onsite OHS to establish two health care clinics on the Kandahar air base. In addition, through Cigna's arrangement with Onsite OHS, a clinic will open soon on the Bagram air base.
"Cigna is responding to our clients' concerns and has already taken important first steps to make primary medical care more accessible for those assigned to work in Afghanistan," said Timothy Blevins, chief network officer for Cigna International Expatriate Benefits (CIEB). "We want to ensure that all customers, wherever they live or work, have easy access to high quality, affordable health care."
Blevins said that Cigna recognized that medical care for clients' employees and contractors on military bases in Afghanistan was limited to conditions that were life-threatening or disabling, leaving them with virtually no options for routine health care services on base. As a result, workers were forced to seek care in surrounding countries, which was costly and disruptive to their assignments.
Through these on-base clinics, workers can take advantage of primary health care, urgent care, routine physicals, basic laboratory and radiology services, pharmacy services and dental services. Under the direction of physicians, care is provided by physician assistants and registered nurses who are trained in western medicine and speak English.
"As a major defense contractor, many of our employees are operating in dangerous and dynamic environments supporting our military in the region. The ability to solve for their medical needs while working on military bases is extremely important and an issue we take seriously," said Dahna Baisley, director of global benefits for Honeywell, a Cigna client.
To make it simple and easy for customers working in high stress environments, the clinics will bill Cigna directly for services provided to customers, eliminating the need for Cigna customers to file a claim and then get reimbursed. To access medical care from any of these facilities, individuals will simply present their Cigna customer ID card at the time of service and will only pay any deductible or copayment or coinsurance amounts that apply under their plan. Cigna and the clinics will coordinate the rest of the billing and payment process.
Throughout 2011, TMH Medical Services is expected to expand to more bases in Afghanistan. Cigna is also in talks with other health care professionals and hospitals in the region and is actively exploring opportunities to create expanded access to high quality health care services.
With more than 790,000 expatriate customers working on assignment in far reaches of the world, Cigna's expatriate business is part of a larger Cigna international operation that includes licenses in more than 27 countries and jurisdictions. Cigna employs 30,000 people worldwide and has more than 60 million customer relationships around the globe. The expanding Cigna network within and outside the U.S. includes 900,000 health care professionals and facilities.
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. Outside the U.S., Cigna serves expatriates in virtually every country in the world and provides employers, affinity groups and individuals access to quality local and global health care and related financial protection programs. Cigna offers products and services in over 27 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 60 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or RSS feed of company news, log on to http://www.cigna.com/newsroom/rss.