Newsroom | 21 April 2020

CIGNA FOUNDATION AND NEW YORK LIFE FOUNDATION PARTNER TO LAUNCH BRAVE OF HEART FUND TO SUPPORT THE FAMILIES OF FRONT-LINE HEALTHCARE WORKERS WHO GIVE THEIR LIVES IN THE COVID-19 FIGHT

  • Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation seed Fund with an initial $50 million, and New York Life Foundation pledges to match the first $25 million in individual donations
  • Cigna to support grieving families by providing free behavioral health counseling

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., April 21, 2020 -- The Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation today launched the Brave of Heart Fund to provide monetary grants to survivors of front-line U.S. healthcare workers who give their lives in the fight against COVID-19.

The Cigna Foundation and the New York Life Foundation are each making initial contributions of $25 million to seed the Fund. The New York Life Foundation will also match the first $25 million of additional individual donations received. Together, the companies hope to raise more than $100 million to protect these families from financial hardship and provide behavioral and emotional support. The Fund will be administered by the nonprofit E4E Relief, the nation's leading provider of charitable employee relief funds, and will begin accepting applications in May.

In addition to financial assistance provided by the Cigna Foundation, Cigna will provide behavioral and emotional health support to the families to help them cope with feelings associated with grief, including anxiety, loneliness, and depression. These offerings are an expansion of Cigna's efforts to support both front-line healthcare workers and the general public by providing webinars, articles, and podcasts to help people manage fear and anxiety, and build resiliency during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

"As we've seen in the past, trying times bring out the best in us, as individuals and communities. Our nation's healthcare workers and volunteers are embodying this every day, as they answer the call of duty with bravery and selflessness," said David M. Cordani, Cigna President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud to partner with New York Life to support the families of these American heroes who give so much while treating others. Through the Brave of Heart Fund, we will bring greater peace of mind to these families, by helping to relieve the emotional and financial burdens they will face in the aftermath of this health crisis."

New York Life Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas stated, "In tough times, true heroes are revealed. The heroes today are not only the courageous and selfless frontline healthcare workers and volunteers who, without hesitation and without question, have put themselves in harm's way to help those who desperately need it, but also their families who are living with the anxiety and fear of what may happen to their loved ones in the days ahead. The Brave of Heart Fund is our way to honor these heroes by doing what New York Life and Cigna do best – supporting these individuals and their families with financial and emotional support and being there when we are needed most."

Families of doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies, cafeteria workers, custodians, volunteers, and others working on the frontlines of healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for support from the Brave of Heart Fund.

They may receive grants valued at up to $75,000 per family for medical care and counseling, housing, food, transportation, education, and other needs as they manage the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and begin to move forward.

Given the urgency of the evolving crisis and the significant impact COVID-19 will have on the mental and emotional health of the families affected, the Fund is being created on an accelerated basis and will be ready to accept applications for its first grants in May 2020. Initial $15,000 grants seek to provide peace of mind by covering families' immediate expenses based on financial need. Eligible families also can receive up to an additional $60,000 to aid their recovery based on need.

The Brave of Heart Fund is the latest in a series of steps Cigna has taken to help protect customers, communities, health care providers and employees from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has already committed to several actions through May 31, 2020. Key activities include:

  • 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.
  • Waiving prior authorizations for emergency department visits and home health care services.
  • Providing free, supportive resources for the general public on how to manage anxiety, fear and improve resiliency.
  • Launching a Mindfulness for Health Care Workers program.
  • Donating medications to Washington University for a clinical trial on COVID-19 treatment.
  • Providing Cigna employees with 80 hours of emergency time off for COVID-19 related needs through 2020.
  • Providing additional compensation and additional assistance to reward Cigna employees who must continue to work onsite, including Cigna's front-line healthcare professionals.
  • Making contributions from the Cigna Foundation to international and domestic non-profit organizations to support for health care professionals and provide relief for families and children facing food insecurities.

Individuals and corporations can donate to the Brave of Heart Fund by visiting www.braveofheartfund.com. The site also includes links to a variety of resources for healthcare workers and their families.

The Fund will be administered through E4E Relief, a subsidiary of the public charity Foundation For The Carolinas, working in partnership with New York Life and Cigna. E4E Relief has nearly 20 years of experience in helping compassionate companies respond to large and small crises, such as natural disasters and family emergencies, allowing employers to quickly care for their most important resources – their people. In the past five years, E4E Relief has received more than $200 million in donations and awarded more than $90 million in charitable grants, supporting relief efforts for 4 million people worldwide.

About the Cigna Foundation
The Cigna Foundation, established in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) and its subsidiaries. The Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.

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.

* 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.

Media Contact
Ellie Polack
1 (860) 902-4906
elinor.polack@cigna.com