Employers and Brokers

Last Updated December 23, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Employers and Brokers

Resources and information to keep you up-to-date and informed.

Cigna is here to support you.

We are committed to the health, well-being, and peace of mind of our clients and customers. Central to this commitment is making sure you feel comfortable and informed on how to keep your workforce and organization safe.

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from employers during this time of uncertainty. Contact your Broker/Consultant or your Cigna representative if you need additional information.

Check back frequently as new updates will be posted as they come in.

Dr. Steve Miller, a physician and Cigna's Chief Clinical Officer, provides an update on the latest developments with the COVID-19 vaccines.

Cigna Healthy Ways to WorkSM

Our solutions help employers address their unique challenges from COVID-19 to safely move forward.

Two people in office passing documents with keeping a distance

Returning to the Worksite

Resources and information to help you keep your employees safe while working during COVID-19.

Employee Care and Coverage

In the United States, there are currently 2 authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 that are FDA-approved for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Any FDA-approved vaccine will be covered as a preventive service.

The federal government has purchased 800 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine serum and 100 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and is providing these doses at no cost to distribution partners. Likewise, the federal government has mandated that non-grandfathered health plans pay 100% of the cost of administration of the vaccine, whether administered by medical HCPs or pharmacists. As such, customer out-of-pocket cost for the COVID-19 vaccine, through all legitimate distribution channels, will be $0.

For more about the state of vaccines, please download the Understanding COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ [PDF]

Yes. Cigna covers medical care for COVID-19 and is waiving customer cost-sharing (for commercial insured, IFP and Medicare) and co-pays for office visits, testing, and treatment through January 21, 2021.1

Effective March 30, 2020, Cigna waived customer cost-sharing for services related to the treatment of COVID-19. This waiver is extended to February 15, 2021.1 The treatments that Cigna will cover for COVID-19 are those covered under Medicare or other applicable state regulations.

We are waiving copays and cost-shares for COVID-19 FDA-approved testing. Only a health care provider or hospital can administer the test and send the sample to an approved lab for results.2

We recommend employees work with their Primary Care Physician (PCP) to understand whether they need testing and their best options. Their doctor is the best source to find testing because they can work with the local health department and health systems. You can also search online for a COVID-19 testing site near you.

We are also waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 FDA-approved at-home specimen collection kits and other diagnostic tests. Employees can order a COVID-19 at-home specimen collection kit

Effective March 30, 2020, Cigna waived customer cost-sharing for all COVID-19 treatment through February 15, 2021.1 The treatments that Cigna will cover for COVID-19 are those covered under Medicare or other applicable state regulations. The company will reimburse health care providers at Cigna’s in-network rates or Medicare rates, as applicable.

We are waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing-related visits with in-network providers, whether at a provider’s office, urgent care center, emergency room, or via virtual care, through January 21, 2021.2

Cigna is waiving customer out-of-pocket costs for virtual care screenings for COVID-19 through January 21, 2021.

Cigna is covering the following at 100% for all clients and funding – including HDHP plans:

  • Virtual care visits (also known as telehealth) for a suspected or possible exposure to COVID-19
    • National vendor partner–MDLIVE®
    • Network health care providers
  • 5-10 minute virtual consultations with health care providers (not vendors), regardless of diagnosis

Cigna customers can also receive virtual medical care not related to COVID-19 by providers with virtual care capabilities through our new permanent virtual care policy. Out-of-pocket costs will typically be the same as a similar in-office visit.

Employees can get started with virtual care by contacting their Primary Care Physician (PCP). If their PCP is not offering virtual care visits, or if the employee wants to have a virtual visit after hours, they can log in to their myCigna account to receive 24/7 virtual care through MDLive.

Listen to Cigna’s virtual care options podcast or read the transcript [PDF].

Cigna is prepared to ensure we can meet the medication needs of our customers. Our sourcing teams map the origins of drug products around the globe and allow us to monitor supplies and adjust our inventory procurement to mitigate shortages. We have been monitoring this situation, and have made adjustments to our procurement to ensure we have adequate inventories to meet demand.

We understand our customers’ desire to be prepared. Standard refill policies, which allow members to refill or renew a prescription medication when 25%–35% of their current prescription is remaining, should help them stay on track with their medication during this time.

Your employees can also have peace of mind by using home delivery, which offers up to 90-day supplies of prescription maintenance medications and free delivery. They can call 1 (800) 835-3784 for more information on home delivery.

We will continue to monitor developments closely, abide by all requirements put forth by government agencies, and will update our information and policies as the situation changes.

Disability and Leave Policies

Our access to regulators, lawmakers, and business and health care industry leaders around the globe allows us to provide you with the most up-to-date information. Below, you’ll find answers to common questions in our Cigna Group Insurance FAQ.

Cigna Group Insurance (CGI) Leave and Disability COVID-19 FAQ [PDF]updated August 20, 2020

We continue to track evolving legislation to determine revisions to federal and statutory paid/unpaid leave and disability plans and we have created resources to help you understand how these changes may impact your plans. Below, you will find a reference guide and detailed FAQ documents.

Man with mask looking out of window

Podcast | April 2020

COVID-19 Legislative Changes Podcast

Learn more about fast-moving legislative changes, how employers can remain compliant, and other important topics.

Furlough Eligibility and Resources

If an enrolled employee working 30 hours or more per week as of March 1 is furloughed or has hours reduced below 30 hours per week, Cigna will agree, at your formal request, to allow the employee to remain on the plan for the duration of the extended relief period as long as premium payments are made. “Extended relief period” is defined as the period starting on March 16, 2020, through August 31, 2020. This period may be extended by Cigna in response to evolving external events.

Individuals who were subsequently furloughed, temporarily laid off, or had their hours reduced as the result of business decisions relating to COVID-19 fall into 2 groups:

  • Members of an eligible class under a Cigna Group Insurance policy on March 1, 2020 will remain eligible until August 31, 2020 provided they remain employed and premiums continue to be paid. Any such time will also be taken into consideration toward the satisfaction of any Eligibility Waiting Period and will not otherwise prevent coverage from becoming effective.
  • For members hired between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, applicable time will also be taken into consideration toward the satisfaction of any applicable Eligibility Waiting Period provided they remain employed and premiums continue to be paid and will not otherwise prevent coverage from becoming effective.

For all other information, such as when coverage would otherwise terminate, please refer to the applicable policy for additional information. As we approach August 31, 2020, we will evaluate the situation and may provide additional guidance.

Most of Cigna’s insured business has policy language in place indicating that coverage will continue during a temporary layoff or leave of absence for a certain number of days (e.g., 60 days). That continuation period will be counted during the time that Cigna has relaxed its eligibility rules, meaning that as of September 1, 2020, there will not be a new continuation period for otherwise ineligible employees who remained on the plan during the extended relief period because the continuation has already occurred.

Our Cigna Vision Network Savings Plan provides savings discounts on routine vision care services at more than 25,000 locations nationwide, at no cost to you.

Learn more about the program

Plan Cost Adjustments

Given the environment and its ever-changing dynamics, there is no single number we can provide which would be the same for all of our clients. We encourage you to reach out to your Broker/Consultant or your Cigna representative as they can work with our internal resources to provide a potential range for this expense.

Our internal teams have created a modeling feature which can provide a potential range based on a series of factors. Your Broker/Consultant or your Cigna representative can schedule a meeting with our Underwriting Team to get your input on the variables used in a calculation of any potential range of outcomes.

Mental Health and Wellness

If a client has Cigna's Employee Assistance Program (EAP), effective March 21, 2020 through September 30, 2020, Cigna is increasing the available number of free sessions any EAP customer can use in response to the impact of COVID-19 on daily lives, at no additional cost:

    • The amount of EAP sessions available depends on the client’s existing EAP session model.
    • The customer will be told about the availability of another set of sessions, which can be accessed after the first set are used.
    • For EAP sessions models of more than 5 sessions, there is a maximum of ten sessions per issues.
    • For EAP clients that have a 1-10 session model in place, it is not possible to offer an expansion of sessions due to the legal guardrails for EAP short term counseling under ACA.

This also applies to Cigna Total Behavioral Health (CTBH), or smaller to mid-size clients with 25-499 employees with emotional well-being support services, where customers get access to 3 free sessions with a licensed behavioral health provider in Cigna's EAP network. For CTBH and smaller to mid-size clients, these services are only available to customers enrolled in medical coverage; it does not extend to the employee’s household.

In addition to expanded EAP sessions, we also have a range of behavioral health programs including digital resiliency tools and peer support. Our wellness and behavioral resources page can help your employees cope with pandemic-related stress brought on by social isolation, job loss, and other daily-life challenges.

1 Self-insured group health plans administered by Cigna have an opportunity to opt out of these benefits.

2 Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires ASO plans to cover diagnostic testing as well as items and services furnished during an office visit (including telehealth), urgent care center visit, and emergency room visit resulting in an order or administration of diagnostic testing, but only to the extent that the items/services relate to the testing or evaluating a person to determine if diagnostic testing is required.

*This COVID-19 treatment policy applies 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.

This content is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate medical advice and care recommendations tailored to your specific medical condition.