PHILADELPHIA, May 01, 2012 - Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Achilles International are joining together in a unique collaboration to give Cigna's selected long-term disability customers access to Achilles programs, including individual coaching, personal training, a community of support and an opportunity to participate in activities with other Achilles athletes.
With the help of Cigna employees Mark Marsters of Philadelphia and Scott Larsen of Plano, Texas as guides, Achilles International athlete Bruce Stoddard of Denver, Colo. crosses the finish line at the Walt Disney World(R) Half Marathon in January. Stoddard, 52 years old, lost his vision in a car accident in 2008. Please visit http://facebook.com/cigna and click on the Achilles tab to help support Achilles International and show you "believe" in the human spirit. (Photo: Cigna Corporation)
"Achilles International and Cigna have a shared mission of helping people with disabilities return to health and productivity," said Megan Wynne Lombardo, director of development for Achilles International. "We've seen that exercise and achievement have truly transformational powers. Working together with Cigna, we can help unleash the potential possessed by people of all abilities."
As part of the program, Cigna vocational rehabilitation counselors will identify Cigna customers currently on disability leave who might benefit from this program and refer them to Achilles. The program will initially target customers with mental disability, post-traumatic stress disorder (also known as PTSD), anxiety, depression, physical injury, loss of mobility, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. It will provide customers with access to resources and colleagues that can help build both their physical capabilities and mental confidence. By combining both physical and mental health services, Cigna believes it can help customers return to health, work and productivity faster.
"As a guide for Achilles athletes, I'm constantly reminded what people can accomplish when they have the right tools and a mindset to achieve a goal," said Mark Marsters, senior vice president for the disability insurance business. Marsters guided blind Achilles athlete Bruce Stoddard at the Walt Disney World® Half Marathon in January.
"Disability insurance provides much more than simply paying out benefits when a person can't work," Marsters said. "It also provides important services to help people return to health, and to work, as quickly and safely as possible. Together with Achilles, we are working to help our customers who are on disability leave achieve better health."
Achilles International's mission is to bring hope, inspiration and the joy of achievement to people with disabilities by helping them set goals, and achieve and make long-term improvements to their health and fitness.
As a small part of Cigna's support of Achilles International and in recognition of May as Disability Insurance Awareness Month, the company's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/cigna) includes a tab with more information about Achilles and offers consumer tips about disability insurance. For each click on the tab's "believe" button, Cigna will donate $5 to Achilles International, up to $5,000.
Cigna sponsored six Achilles athletes to compete in the Walt Disney World® Half Marathon as part of the company's support for Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans and non-veteran Achilles athletes in mainstream races. Four of the sponsored athletes were part of Achilles' Freedom Team and two were non-veteran Achilles athletes. Cigna also supports the Achilles Kids program, which helps children with disabilities take part in a year long "Virtual marathon."
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
Achilles International is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit helping people with disabilities be active, set goals, achieve, and make long term improvements to their health and fitness. Achilles, which was founded in 1983, has its headquarters in NY and can be found on the web at www.achillesinternational.org.