Newsroom | 09 March 2012

Cigna Recognized by National Business Group on Health for Efforts to Reduce Health Care Disparities


Diana Sousa, 860-226-2103


  • Cigna honored with national award for its employee-driven initiative to provide access to equitable health care for all its customers.
  • Cigna maintains a Health Disparities Council comprised of 200 employee volunteers.
  • A multi-year strategic plan tackles health care disparities among those it serves.

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., March 09, 2012 - Cigna (NYSE: CI) was honored today by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) with the organization's annual "Award for Innovation in Reducing Health Care Disparities." Cigna was recognized for its employee-driven initiative to provide more equitable health care through unique programs targeting diverse populations among its 11 million customers. The award was presented at the NBGH's Business Health Agenda 2012 conference in Washington, D.C.

"Cigna is leveraging the ingenuity and diversity of its own employees to design innovative programs that engage its customers, health care professionals, and employers in enabling greater health care equality," said Helen Darling, president and CEO of NBGH. "Cigna is demonstrating strong leadership and serving as an example to other companies on how to create tailored initiatives that address the specific health care needs of every individual participating in its health plans."

"Cigna recognizes that identifying health care disparities and helping to reduce them is a responsibility of the entire organization," said Alan Muney, M.D., chief medical officer at Cigna. "We are already making real progress in creating solutions that improve health care for the diverse populations we serve while simultaneously reducing related costs for everyone."

Cigna launched a Health Disparities Council in 2008 comprised of more than 200 employee volunteers from across the company's departments to facilitate the exchange of ideas, share knowledge, and identify internal and external opportunities to address health care disparities in culturally sensitive and medically appropriate ways.

The Council is implementing a multi-year strategic plan focused on five key areas:

  • Leveraging Diversity Data: Cigna utilizes a system that effectively approximates race and ethnicity data in geographic areas to identify and prioritize targeted health care programs for specific populations.
  • Promoting Health Care Interventions: Utilizing the data collected, Cigna is initiating tailored programs to study whether incentives and educational materials are effective in motivating individuals with specific health conditions to seek health care.
  • Improving Customer Communications: Cigna is leveraging the cultural expertise of its own employees to design customer communications that are customized to specific populations in terms of language, cultural appropriateness, reading level and preferred channel.
  • Engaging Employees: In 2010, more than 18,000 Cigna employees participated in cultural competency training, and the program is now required for all new employees. Cigna also launched Colleague Resource Groups for employees to create and empower diverse communities within the organization and support efforts to address health equity.
  • Building Partnerships with Health Care Professionals and Employers: Cigna is engaging health care professionals through a website portal that provides training, tools and resources for physicians and their staff to recognize and manage issues related to health care disparities. Cigna also created a Health Disparities Client Advisory Council to work collaboratively with government employers and their diverse employee populations to address health disparities.


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

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues and to being the voice for large employers on national health care issues. The Business Group, whose 320 members include 66 of the Fortune 100, identifies, develops and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members provide health coverage for more than 55 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit