BLOOMFIELD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) today announced new, expanded access and choice to affordable telehealth services for millions of Americans enrolled in Cigna administered medical and behavioral health plans for 2017.
In 2017, Cigna will significantly expand its telehealth coverage by adding AMWELL (by American Well) to its existing offering of MDLIVE – both as a standard telehealth benefit for most* of Cigna’s U.S. employer-sponsored group health plans, as well as many of its individual health plans on and off public marketplace exchanges. Both services operate national networks of board-certified doctors that are able to treat minor medical conditions such as allergies, cold and flu and sinusitis.
In January, Cigna will also add telehealth video consultations for its health plan customers by using the company’s contracted behavioral health professionals. Customers who have mental health/substance abuse benefits with Cigna will have the option for individual therapy or medication management through video-based services. There is no additional cost for these behavioral services to customers or their employers, with the same cost share applying to video-based services as face-to-face office visits.
“Since Cigna began offering telehealth to customers 10 years ago, we’ve learned a few things about how we can help people benefit from their plans in the ways that matter most: increased access and convenience, choice, care quality and affordability,” said Cigna Telehealth Lead, Robert Wijnhoven. “We also know about the difficulty some Americans have accessing a behavioral health professional, especially in rural areas. Enabling access to our behavioral health care professional networks via telehealth provides an innovative solution to this accessibility challenge.”
According to Wijnhoven, at a time when many customers are responsible for a larger percent of their medical spend, telehealth offers on demand access to health care professionals at a fraction of the cost of conventional points of service such as retail clinics, urgent care and emergency room visits.
“Cost is especially important for customers on the public exchanges, which is why we are extending this benefit beyond our employer-sponsored plans,” Wijnhoven said. “As important however, is quality and continuity of care. That is why both MDLIVE and AMWELL for Cigna are able to share consult notes with the customer’s primary care physician, with their consent, which helps facilitate continuity of care and promotes better quality and results.”
Cigna added MDLIVE to its telehealth benefits portfolio in 2013 and they currently support roughly 30 percent of Cigna's U.S. group medical population**.
”MDLIVE is proud to expand the important work of serving Cigna’s membership with access to on demand virtual care” said Randy Parker, CEO of MDLIVE. ”Enabling behavioral health services alongside medical is an innovative way of meeting the market demand head-on.”
With the addition of American Well’s affiliated medical network Online Care Group, Cigna customers will not only have expanded access, but also choice in where they access Telehealth services.
“We believe the best telehealth makes access to trusted, traditional healthcare providers more convenient, affordable and timely,” said Dr. Roy Schoenberg, CEO and co-founder, American Well. “We are delighted to collaborate with Cigna in realizing this vision and bring easier, modern healthcare access to its customers.”
*Clinical services via American Well’s telehealth platform are not currently available in Arkansas and Texas, and MDLIVE is not available Arkansas and is limited to video-only in Idaho and phone-only in Texas. State regulations are subject to change.
**Cigna Commercial Book of Business, 1/1/16.
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 by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, or their affiliates. 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 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 90 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
Founded in 2009, MDLIVE is a visionary and pioneer in the digital delivery of high-quality, convenient, cost-efficient virtual care for medical and behavioral health conditions. The company provides consumers, health plans, health systems and self-insured employers with 24/7/365 access to its network of board-certified doctors and licensed therapists via secure online video, and phone through the MDLIVE service and technology platform. Registered users can receive a virtual consultation through the company’s HIPAA and PHI-compliant secure, cloud-based platform from home or on the go. To learn more about how MDLIVE is using telehealth innovations to improve the delivery of healthcare, visit www.MDLIVE.com.
About American Well
American Well transforms healthcare delivery through telehealth. American Well makes online doctor visits accessible to everyone for one-off care issues like colds or infections, and chronic condition management, such as diabetes or depression. American Well delivers healthcare into people’s homes and workplaces through our work with top health plans, health systems and employers, as well as our telehealth app, AMWELL. A patient using AMWELL can connect to a board-certified doctor of their choosing in just minutes for a visit carried out over smartphone, tablet, kiosk, phone, or desktop. American Well and AMWELL are registered trademarks or trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. For more information on American Well’s services, visit www.americanwell.com. To download AMWELL and have a doctor visit now, visit www.amwell.com.