Friday, August 11, 2006

New York Tri-State Region to Receive CIGNA "Custom Benefit Builder"

Consumers May Now Custom Design Their Health Benefits Plan

New York
July 27, 2006

CIGNA HealthCare today announced that it is expanding the availability of its new CIGNA Custom Benefit Builder SM to mid-sized customers in the New York Tri-State region.

CIGNA Custom Benefit Builder gives consumers more choices and an easy way to build a customized health benefits plan to fit their individual health care and financial needs. Tri-State mid-sized employers with 500 or more employees now can have access to state-of-the-art technology combined with consumer information and decision support tools to give consumers a simple, step-by-step way to learn about and model their benefits.

Consumers can compare and then personalize various copayment and coinsurance levels, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. As these choices are made, CIGNA Custom Benefit Builder automatically calculates how much the plan will cost and consumers can then enroll for benefits, all using one integrated online application. “Our goal is to give consumers the same choice and control over their health care decision-making that they have in other aspects of their lives,” said Charles Catalano, president, CIGNA HealthCare of New York-New Jersey-Connecticut. “CIGNA Custom Benefit Builder is an industry-leading next step in achieving that goal."

Catalano indicated that in the past, an employer would have had to offer dozens of separate benefit plans to get the same level of choice that CIGNA Custom Benefit Builder will now enable through an online tool in just a few simple steps. According to a recent CIGNA HealthCare survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the option to personalize their health care insurance to their needs and budget is one that would be clearly valued by a majority (81%) of consumers.

More than three-quarters (79%) of consumers indicated that they are confident in their ability to decide how much coverage they need and how much they are willing to pay for that coverage. In addition to choice, consumers also want ease when building their customized benefit plan.

Seventy-two percent of consumers would value a health plan that would allow them to make their health insurance choices using online technology in a manner similar to online shopping for consumer products. Powered by Choicelinx technology, CIGNA Custom Benefit Builder allows consumers to:

model their expected heath care use based on age, gender and health status

conduct “what if” scenarios demonstrating how different choices affect costs

calculate how much their health care benefits will cost them each pay period based on the options they select and their employers’ contributions to their benefits

choose the pharmacy plan that best meets their needs

review available incentives offered by the employer for enrolling in wellness and disease management programs

understand all their benefit options
enroll online

The CIGNA HealthCare survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, a survey-based research company, and was fielded February 17-20, 2006.

It includes responses from a random sample of 683 individuals who have access to an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Survey results based on 683 interviews are considered accurate to within 3.7 percentage points.

Choicelinx is a CIGNA-owned benefits technology and services company specializing in a new generation of Web-based and consumer-focused employee benefits products for the health insurance industry.

Choicelinx products improve health plan operations and achieve efficiencies through seamless automation of data collection and transmission. Choicelinx is headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire.

CIGNA HealthCare, headquartered in Bloomfield, CT, provides medical benefits plans, dental coverage, behavioral health coverage, pharmacy benefits and products and services that integrate and analyze information to support consumerism and health advocacy.

“CIGNA” and “CIGNA HealthCare” refer to various operating subsidiaries of CIGNA Corporation. Products and services are provided by these operating subsidiaries and not by CIGNA Corporation.

CIGNA members have the advantage of a large provider network, a statewide specialty care network, reasonably priced co-pays, office visits that include x-rays and lab work, as well as discounts on services such as LASIK, dental care, and acupuncture.

CIGNA HealthCare offers health insurance plans that provide access to preventive care and health education programs. Members receive information regarding local and national wellness programs that encourage healthy living.