In the second part of the Prayers Pandemic Protection series, DistilINFO looked at the 8 initiatives taken by Cigna in fighting virus spread.
Cigna Medical Group (CMG) in Arizona is among the first in the country to provide the monoclonal antibody infusion therapy to high-risk COVID-19 patients in a non-hospital setting.
2. Buoy Health
Cigna and Express Scripts are working with Buoy Health to provide an early intervention screening tool to help customers and members understand their personal risks for COVID-19. The digital tool immediately triages symptoms and recommends next steps for care, while also relieving demand on an over-burdened health care system.
Cigna is waiving customer cost-sharing and co-payments for COVID-19 treatment through May 31. The policy applies to customers in the U.S. who are covered under Cigna’s employer/union-sponsored insured group health plans, insured plans for U.S.-based globally mobile individuals, Medicare Advantage, and Individual and Family Plans. Cigna will also administer the waiver to self-insured group health plans.
3.Mental Health Resources
Cigna is helping dental providers overcome the stress and anxiety of returning to work by offering mental health resources and support for in-network dental office employees. Network dentists and office staff can speak to a qualified representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1.855.287.8400. Cigna group dental clients will also receive a one-month premium credit applied in July for clients who were active in May 2020. The employer can pass through the premium credit to employees if they are responsible for their dental premiums. No action is required by clients to receive this credit. Also, Cigna Dental has implemented dental care solutions to assist employers and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, including no-cost virtual dental care for employees through July 31, 2020.
4.Healthier Kids for Future
The Cigna Foundation is inviting non-profits working to create greater access to mental health services to apply for funding through its Healthier Kids For Our FutureSM grant program. The program will provide up to a total of $5 million in grants to community organizations over the next year. Healthier Kids For Our FutureSM is a five-year, $25 million global initiative to improve the health and well-being of children that launched in 2019. Phase I focused on reducing childhood hunger and improving nutrition, awarding more than $4.5 million in grants to date. In Phase II, the program will add an additional focus area, addressing the mental health and well-being of children. Nonprofits working to improve childhood hunger can still apply as well. Many families across the country are facing increased stress and anxiety right now. Prior to COVID-19, up to 20 percent of children and adolescents worldwide experienced mental illness, and the crisis is shedding light on a worsening mental health crisis – as both children and adults are struggling with anxiety, loneliness, and isolation.
5.Cigna Care Cards
Cigna has launched the Cigna Care Card to help clients provide financial assistance to keep employees healthy and supported during the COVID-19 crisis. The new offering will make it easier for employers to support the well-being and peace of mind of employees and their families by designating a tax-free dollar amount to cover expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19.The Cigna Care Card is a debit card powered by Alegeus that allows clients to pre-load funds that employees can use for qualified disaster relief payments, such as medical payments, groceries, child care, and wellness services. Payments are tax-free to employees and fully deductible to the employer.
The payer is adding Talkspace to its behavioral provider network for customers seeking a more convenient therapy option. With private messaging (text, voice, and video), Talkspace connects Cigna customers to dedicated licensed therapists who engage daily through a secure app. Customers can also schedule live video sessions based on personal preference.
Cigna is expanding its digital capabilities to help customers with COVID-19 by providing real-time, personalized support. These new virtual solutions will help rapidly identify and assist Cigna customers who arrive in emergency room settings with COVID-19 symptoms and support those who are actively recovering at home. Cigna has partnered with Collective Medical to identify customers, in real-time, checking into emergency care settings with COVID-19 symptoms. With this information, Cigna Care Advocates can quickly engage these customers and connect them with programs to support whole-person health, such as care management, remote patient monitoring, and behavioral health support.
7.Brave Hearth Fund
Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation have partnered to launch the Brave of Heart Fund to help the spouses, domestic partners, children, and parents of the frontline healthcare workers who gave their lives in the fight against COVID-19. Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation will make initial seed contributions of $25 million each and both CEOs will work to garner additional support from other corporate and private citizens.
In addition to the financial assistance, Cigna will provide behavioral and emotional health support to the families to help them cope. These offerings are an expansion of Cigna’s efforts to support both front-line healthcare workers and the general public during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
8. Vaccine Cost Waiver
-CMG has continued to provide testing and has administered over 4,000 COVID-19 vaccines as of mid-February to patients and qualified members of the community through drive-thru vaccine clinics and in its 21 health care centers.
Cigna has covered the cost of approved vaccines without any cost-share. The vaccine is currently purchased by the federal government and provided free of cost to individuals. Cigna covers the cost of administering the vaccine at 100% without any out-of-pocket costs when done by an in-network or out-of-network provider.
-Also worked out has waived off out-of-pocket costs for all COVID-19 treatments through February 15, 2021.
-Cigna has waived out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 visits with in-network providers, whether at a provider’s office, urgent care center, emergency room, or via virtual care, through January 21, 2021.
-Cigna is waiving out-of-pocket costs for all COVID-19 treatment through December 31, 2020. The treatments that Cigna will cover for COVID-19 are those covered under Medicare or other applicable state regulations. reimburse health care providers at Cigna’s in-network rates or Medicare rates, as applicable.
-Cigna is also waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 visits with in-network providers, whether at a provider’s office, urgent care center, emergency room, or via virtual care, through January 21, 2021.