BLOOMFIELD, Conn. and NEW YORK, June 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Small businesses have been significantly hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new research from Cigna and Oscar, 70% of small businesses have seen a decline in their revenue, and 52% have laid off or furloughed employees. As small businesses begin to reopen, the majority of decision makers reported that providing health insurance to employees is a higher priority in their budgets (66%), and that access to affordable solutions that support employee health and well-being (88%) – physical and mental – will be more important going forward. 

Today, Cigna and Oscar are announcing that Cigna + Oscar, a new affordable and consumer-first health insurance for small businesses, will be available in Atlanta and in the San Francisco Bay Area and across Tennessee, including Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga effective Q4 2020, pending regulatory approvals.*

The fully-insured health plans available through Cigna + Oscar include no charge, 24/7 virtual doctor visits, $3 drug co-pays** and dedicated Care Team member support, all coupled with access to multiple Cigna networks of quality physicians, specialists and hospitals. The affordable plans are designed to fit the budgets of small businesses and provide care that’s personalized to employees’ needs.

The partnership also expands access to behavioral health services through Cigna Behavioral Health’s specialized coaching programs and 24/7 crisis helpline.

«Companies across the U.S. have long recognized that investment in the health of employees and their families is critical, because they know that a healthy and productive workforce is a key driver of their business success,» said Julie McCarter, vice president of product solutions at Cigna.  «Now that link has been magnified, as employers large and small view a healthy workforce as a condition of getting their businesses up and running again in a COVID-19 environment.  Through our partnership, we are providing more choices for affordable, predictable and simple health coverage to small businesses at a time when they need it most.»

«Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and have been significantly challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic,» said Chelsea Cooper, senior vice president of small group business at Oscar. «Cigna + Oscar was created with the purpose of addressing small businesses’ unique challenges through solutions tailored to their budgets and care designed to prioritize their employees’ health needs. Their top priority is our top priority, and right now that’s recovery.»

The Cigna + Oscar survey of over 1,000 small business decision makers released today finds that 88% of U.S. small business decision makers say the health and well-being of employees is a primary concern following the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50% of small businesses are considering or unsure about changing their health insurer heading into 2021.

  • Respondents report that wellness benefits and health insurance rank as the top two most important benefits to offer their employees, above flexible or remote work options, financial planning resources like a 401(k), dental and vision insurance, and paid time off.
  • Top factors that would influence small businesses to change their health insurer include a large network of top hospitals, doctors, and specialists, and better understanding and greater care about their business and employees.
  • Whether an insurer provides flexible options to support business recovery and broad access to digital tools like telemedicine is more important to small businesses following the pandemic.

The survey results by region trend even higher.  Small businesses in Atlanta, GA (84%), Northern CA (77%), and Nashville, TN (73%) said that health insurance is more important in their budgets as a result of COVID-19, compared to 66% of national respondents. A majority of small businesses in Northern CA (57%) and Atlanta (51%) and nearly half of respondents in Nashville (48%) are actively considering changing their small business’s health insurer heading into 2021, which is at least twice the rate of national respondents (24%).

While all respondents place more importance on the cost-effectiveness of health insurance factors like premiums and deductibles following the pandemic, local small businesses also value elements that have not been traditionally offered by many health insurance companies.

  • 74% of small businesses in Northern California indicated that flexible options to support recovery and communications and resources are the top two factors for them in selecting an insurer.
  • 75% of Nashville small business decision makers value an insurer that offers affordable coverage for employees’ dependents like children.
  • 78% of small businesses in Atlanta say high-quality, personalized customer service and dedicated care support teams are more important to them following the pandemic.

About Cigna + Oscar
Pending final regulatory approvals of Cigna + Oscar products, small businesses will have access to unique services driven by the combination of Cigna’s provider relationships and Oscar’s consumer-centric, tech-driven approach to customer service and care navigation, including:

  • Expected monthly savings for businesses and their employees.
    • Range of plan options across price points to meet the needs of every employee.
    • Behavioral health benefits to help keep teams productive and healthy.
  • Local and nationwide networks of quality doctors, hospitals, and specialists.
    • Cigna LocalPlus®, a locally designed network of quality providers offering quality, cost-effective medical care.
    • Cigna Open Access Plus network, a broad national network of quality, cost-effective providers.
    • 24/7 virtual urgent care to support employees wherever they are, at no cost.
  • Affordable and easy-to-access pharmacy services.
    • $3 co-pays on the most commonly prescribed prescriptions.
    • Accredo’s specialized pharmacists, nurses and specialty drug experts.
  • Dedicated care team experts to help employees understand their benefits, find nearby care, and get the most value out of their plan.

Cigna and Oscar will share risk equally under a reinsurance agreement for solutions offered through this strategic partnership and plan to expand the partnership over time.

About the Study
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Cigna + Oscar from May 14 to 26, 2020, among 1,032 U.S. health insurance decision makers at small businesses across a nationally-representative variety of industries with 11 to 50 employees (decision makers for purposes of this survey include a mix of business owners and administrators). The panel of respondents included over 500 individuals nationally and an oversample of more than 150 individuals each of the following areas: Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, and San Francisco, CA. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Cigna
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. 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 over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 180 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.

About Oscar 
Oscar is the first health insurance company built to make health care easy. Headquartered in New York City, Oscar has been challenging the health care system’s status quo since our founding in 2012, developing seamless technology and providing personalized support to help our members navigate their health care. Oscar was the first insurer to offer free, 24/7 telemedicine to members and to integrate direct scheduling with providers through our app.

Oscar plans also include access to a network of first-rate physicians and hospitals, as well as a personalized Concierge team that supports members every step of the way, from finding a doctor to navigating costs. Oscar is known for our easy-to-use digital tools, including a website and mobile app that let members view their health history, speak directly with their Concierge team, and access their account information.

All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Mulberry Health Inc., including Oscar Insurance Company and its affiliates. Say hi or learn more at https://www.hioscar.com or follow us at https://twitter.com/OscarHealth.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Ellie Polack, Cigna

860.902.4906

[email protected] 

Jackie Kahn, Oscar

202.538.0128

[email protected]

*Cigna + Oscar commercial health solutions are pending regulatory approval to be available in the fourth quarter for qualified small businesses in San Francisco Bay Area, and in Atlanta and Tennessee (Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and rural Tennessee). Please refer to the Cigna + Oscar website for more detailed information on counties within these markets.
**Oscar’s $3 prescription drug formulary is not available in all areas or with all plan designs. The $3 list is not available in California nor with high deductible health plans compatible with health savings accounts.

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SOURCE Cigna; Oscar