Jul 8, 2021
Cigna Recognized for Its Use of Plain Language in Customer Materials

It’s no secret that switching health insurance plans can be daunting for many adults. The choices people make can affect both the cost and quality of the care they receive. 

That’s especially true when customers become eligible for Medicare Advantage, either by turning 65 or qualifying based on disability. Suddenly, they are faced with navigating health plans that can be considerably different than the ones they’ve been accustomed to using. The questions can be plentiful: Are my preferred doctors part of my network? How much will my co-pays be? What procedures are covered? Are my prescriptions on the approved drug list? 

“Medicare can be very confusing,” said Shannon Adams, the Head of Customer Engagement for Cigna Medicare Advantage (MA). “Most people need help understanding their plans. At Cigna, our strategy is to make health care more affordable, predictable, and simple, so we work hard to clearly communicate to our customers.” 

That hard work is paying off. The Center for Plain Language, a nonprofit committed to promoting easy-to-understand communications from public and private organizations, recently recognized Cigna with two ClearMark Awards for materials that help our newest customers learn how to get the most out of their MA benefits. 

Cigna has long been committed [PDF] to using clear language in its communications. In fact, we have plain language experts who are devoted to ensuring that enrollment materials sent to customers are easy to understand and free of confusing health care industry terms. These experts also write and review communications that help customers use and understand their plans, and they provide plain language training for employees throughout the company.

Adams said clear and simple communications are especially critical for the MA demographic. Older Americans (ages 65+) are far more likely to suffer from multiple chronic conditions, which can be challenging and expensive to manage. More than 50% of elderly Americans have at least two chronic conditions, and 36% of elderly Americans report having three or more. One way Cigna can help MA customers maintain and improve their health is by making sure they understand and get the most of their benefits.

When they first sign up for Cigna MA, new customers receive a variety of information, including a dense, “evidence of coverage” document, a requirement of Medicare. To make the details easier to understand, Cigna follows up with a vibrant, plain language direct mailer to educate customers about their most-important and most frequently used benefits. The mailer also includes a refrigerator magnet promoting Cigna’s new customer assistance line, encouraging customers to call and ask questions about their plans. 

In addition, within the first 60 days of enrolling in MA, a clinical or customer service representative will call customers to assist them in understanding their benefits and answer questions. The representative will ensure, for example, that new customers receive their ID cards and have a primary care doctor. They will also help customers set up annual wellness visits and other appointments.  

“We are proud to be recognized by the Center for Plain Language for our Medicare Advantage customer mailers and call scripts,” Adams said. “By communicating clearly with our customers with simple, plain language, we can help them make informed decisions about their health, get the most from their benefits, and achieve the best possible health outcomes.” 

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation 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, Evernorth companies or their affiliates, 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 185 million customer relationships around the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com 

All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis, Inc., HealthSpring Life & Health Insurance Company, Inc., HealthSpring of Florida, Inc., Bravo Health Mid-Atlantic, Inc., and Bravo Health Pennsylvania, Inc. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. Cigna complies with applicable Federal Civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Cigna cumple con las layes federales de derechos civiles aplicables y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, discapacidad o sexo.  English: ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-800-668-3813 (TTY 711). Spanish: ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística.