Jul 14, 2023
A look at disability inclusion at The Cigna Group

The Cigna Group’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in every aspect of our enterprise. We pride ourselves on championing a culture of belonging that values and respects everyone equally. As part of that, we are committed to hiring, serving, and supporting people of all abilities – across our own workforce, across our customer base, and within the communities we serve.

We’re proud to share that our efforts have been recognized: The Cigna Group has achieved the distinction of a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.” We scored 100 on the 2023 Disability Equality Index, which is considered the most robust assessment for disability inclusion in business. The benchmarking tool is a joint initiative of Disability:IN, a global business disability inclusion network, and the American Association of People with Disabilities

“We are honored to receive this recognition and celebrate the employee-driven work we’ve done to embrace inclusion and belonging for people of all abilities. This work extends beyond our workforce, to all of the populations we serve.”
Geneva Brown, vice president, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

This year, 485 companies participated in the Disability Equality Index. Below are just some of the reasons why The Cigna Group achieved high marks.

Culture and leadership: A champion for employees of all abilities

The Cigna Group’s Achieving Better Lives for Everyone (ABLE) employee resource group (ERG) serves as a champion for employees of all abilities by fostering a supportive community that’s dedicated to creating a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible work environment.

At the employee level, ABLE helps to foster a supportive community – not just for colleagues who have disabilities, but also for their caregivers and allies. From recruitment through employment, ABLE assists at each stage of an employee’s career. The group works to support enterprise-wide inclusive hiring practices, provides education and resources for employees, and helps to improve accessibility across all of our workplaces.

ABLE raises awareness on a wide variety of challenges people may face, such as mental illness, autism, and rare diseases. The employee group also sponsors webinars and presentations on topics including disability and higher education and neurodiversity. For example, in the first half of 2023, ABLE sponsored eight events designed to raise awareness and educate employees on the broad range of seen and unseen disabilities.

The ERG also takes action to improve the employee and customer experience. ABLE recently launched a Digital Accessibility Steering Committee, a group of cross-functional leaders across The Cigna Group who advocate for improvements in our work environment and across our customer-facing web properties to eliminate digital accessibility barriers. For example, as a result of this work, The Cigna Group developed extensive digital layout and formatting guidelines for our websites, electronic communications, and digital tools to better complement the use of screen reader software, as well as make them reader-friendly for people with color blindness and dyslexia.

Advancing the health and well-being of people with disabilities

The Cigna Group’s work to advance the health and well-being for people with disabilities is a key priority. People with disabilities are more likely to experience greater health disparities than people without disabilities, including social determinants of health. The CDC reports that among Americans with disabilities, 1 in 4 people age 18 to 44 lack a regular health care provider (like a primary care physician), and 1 in 4 age 45 to 64 have not had a routine medical check-up within the last year. People with disabilities are nearly four times as likely to rate their health as “fair” or “poor” than people without disabilities. They also have a higher risk of preventable health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease, and are more likely to smoke and become obese than adults without disabilities.

The Cigna Group partners with experts and communities to establish programs designed to enable care access, promote health literacy, and enhance digital accessibility for people living with disabilities so they can connect to the information and services they need to achieve their best possible health.

For example, Cigna Healthcare, a division of The Cigna Group, provides American Sign Language interpreters to customers who need them during a Cigna Onsite Health Center visit, whether it is in person or virtual. Customers who are vision impaired can access benefit information and health education materials in Braille, large print, and audio formats at no cost, and Braille prescription bottle labels are also available.

Community engagement

Community engagement is core to The Cigna’s Group’s DNA, and the company supports a number of nonprofits dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Immune Deficiency Foundation. In addition, The Cigna Group Foundation has awarded grants to the Fenwick Foundation in Virginia for Project ADAT, which provides in-home dental care to long-term care residents with limited resources who have physical or mental disabilities, as well as grants to VELA in Texas, which provides caregiver wellness support for Hispanic/Latino parents of children with disabilities.

The Cigna Group’s leaders are also personally involved as board members of a number of nonprofits, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, the Central Institute for the Deaf, the YMCA, UCP Heartland, and the Epilepsy Foundation.

Collectively, these efforts reflect The Cigna Group’s ongoing commitment to help people of all abilities live their lives to the fullest. Advancing a culture of inclusion and belonging is at the heart of our mission of improving the health and vitality of those we serve, and we are proud to continue this work on behalf of our employees, customers, and communities.

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Connecting for a healthier future

Click here to read The Cigna Group's full 2022 ESG report. 

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