Cigna is introducing a broad range of new initiatives to encourage and expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations. These incentives include offering paid time off to receive the vaccination, an incentive award for employees who are fully vaccinated and transportation to vaccine appointments at no cost for most Medicare Advantage customers.
“Even as vaccination rates increase, we are in a race against more contagious variants, and we must remain vigilant,” said Dr. Steve Miller, Cigna’s chief clinical officer. “Cigna is committed to doing our part to build a community of immunity – both by encouraging our employees to get vaccinated and by providing resources to our customers, clients and communities to ensure they can access vaccines.”
For employees, Cigna is offering:
Incentives for those who are fully vaccinated: Starting now, Cigna employees in the United States who are enrolled in the Cigna Medical Plan are eligible to receive a $200 incentive award for being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A study shows that similar health incentive programs improve health outcomes and lower total medical costs by an average of 10 percent. Employees can self-report that they have received the vaccine, and the award will be deposited into their Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). While rewarding vaccinations, the company is not requiring vaccinations.
Extended deadline to use paid time off through 2021: Cigna has extended the deadline for benefits-eligible employees to use up to 10 days of paid “emergency time off” (ETO) for COVID-19-related reasons, including to receive the vaccine or recover from it if needed, dependent care or taking a mental health day. The time off, originally provided to employees in 2020, now can be used through the end of 2021. To date, over 875,500 ETO hours (nearly 110,000 days) have been used by over 25,300 employees. This time is in addition to regular paid time off (PTO) for benefits-eligible employees.
In the communities we serve, Cigna is providing:
No-cost transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites: Most of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage customers are eligible to receive transportation to and from vaccine sites at no extra cost. Over 500,000 customers in 23 states are eligible for four one-way trips, up to 60 miles each way, to get their vaccine. The program allows for four trips since some vaccines require two doses. Transportation for one adult companion is also included to accommodate caregivers.
Direct outreach to vulnerable seniors to encourage vaccination: Cigna is conducting direct outreach to customers most at-risk for COVID-19 in key communities to provide them with resources about how to get vaccinated and help them make appointments. This effort is part of the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative that aims to enable the vaccination of two million seniors age 65+ in vulnerable and underserved communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in our health care system that drive disparities in health care access and outcomes,” continued Dr. Miller. “We are steadfast in our commitment to using our resources and expertise to ensure that vaccine uptake does not exacerbate existing inequities, and we can have a greater impact through partnerships across the industry.”
Cigna is also providing vaccinations on-site for clients that have Employer Worksite Health Centers, as vaccine supply allows. To learn more about Cigna’s full efforts to support customers, clients, communities and employees throughout the pandemic, please visit Cigna’s COVID-19 Resource Center.