Newsroom | 17 June 2020

Cigna Donates $75,000 to the City of Memphis to Fund COVID-19 Testing for Underserved Communities

    Memphis, Tenn. — June 17, 2020 Cigna is donating $75,000 to the City of Memphis to support COVID-19 testing for the most vulnerable and underserved communities in Memphis, including the underinsured, uninsured and homeless. The Cigna donation will also fund protective masks, gloves and other equipment. 

    "As we move forward, it’s critical to have appropriate PPE to quickly test and box in the virus," said Mayor Jim Strickland, City of Memphis. "We’re so grateful to have partners like Cigna to step in and help keep our citizens safe." 

    The Cigna donation will be managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis COVID-19 Regional Response Fund and utilized by health care organizations responsible for ensuring access and equity in COVID-19 testing and response.

    "The Health care partners that have come together to coordinate services and provide accessible, free COVID-19 testing rely on financial support like this," says Jenny Bartlett-Prescott, COO, Church Health, who also leads community COVID-19 testing in Shelby County. "This investment from Cigna enables us to immediately respond and sustain services during an ever-changing situation that impacts every part of Shelby County." 

    In Shelby County, nearly 70,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed as of May 29, 2020, with 4,793 testing positive and 3,378 having successfully recovered from the virus.

    "Cigna is proud to work with Mayor Strickland and our partners to provide essential testing for the underserved," said Greg Allen, MidSouth market president for Cigna. "We are committed to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of our customers and the Memphis community during the COVID-19 crisis."

    This announcement follows Cigna's $20,000 donation to the YMCA of Memphis & Mid-South in May 2020 to support emergency food services for Shelby County Schools students.

    Cigna has taken steps to help protect customers, communities, health care providers and employees from the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

    • Cigna announced its Customer Protection Program which safeguards customers from surprise bills by out-of-network providers for care related to COVID-19 treatment. 
    • Launching Express Scripts Parachute RxSM to ensure that any American who loses health care coverage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can secure many of their medications at affordable and predictable prices. 
    • The Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation launched the Brave of Heart Fund to provide grants to survivors of front-line U.S. health care work who give their lives in the fight against COVID-19. Each Foundation has made initial contributions of $25 million to seed the Fund, and together hope to raise more than $100 million to protect these families from financial hardship and provide additional support.
    • Waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, telehealth screenings and treatment.*
    • Making it easier for customers to be treated virtually by their own physicians.
    • Making it easier for hospitals to transfer patients to long-term acute care hospitals and subacute facilities.

    For more information visit Cigna's Coronavirus Resource Center, Cigna.com/COVID19

    About Cigna
    Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 170 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

    About the Memphis Shelby County Community Testing Task Force
    The Community Testing Task Force, a sub-committee of the Memphis Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force, is responsible for ensuring access and equity in COVID-19 testing. Members of this group offer COVID-19 testing in locations throughout Shelby County, Tennessee, including nonprofit health clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care partner locations.

    Media Contacts
    Holly Fussell
    Cigna
    1 (423) 304-9128
    holly.fussell@cigna.com

    Dan Springer
    City of Memphis
    1 (901) 302-0652
    dan.springer@memphistn.gov

    * The treatments that Cigna will cover for COVID-19 are those covered under Medicare or other applicable state regulations. The company will reimburse healthcare providers at Cigna's in-network rates or Medicare rates, as applicable. These benefits apply to customers in the United States who are covered under Cigna's employer/union sponsored insured group health plans, insured plans for US based globally mobile individuals, Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans (IFP). Cigna will also administer the waiver to self-insured group health plans and the company encourages widespread participation, although these plans will have an opportunity to opt-out of the waiver option.