National Hispanic Heritage Month, is observed each year in the U.S. from September 15 – October 15 to celebrate the achievements, contributions, histories, traditions, and cultural diversity of the Hispanic/Latino community. The celebration begins in the middle of September to coincide with national independence days in several Latin American countries. Since 1968, this month has been a time to spotlight the many contributions of Hispanic Americans throughout history and to reflect on ways to better support and empower Hispanic Americans in the communities where we live and work.
At The Cigna Group we have a longstanding and deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and are purposeful in developing an approach that is mapped to our strategy and supports our business. We are focused on nurturing an inclusive culture of belonging that is powerfully diverse, strives for equity, and values every person’s unique differences and talents because. We know this supports better decision making, greater innovation, and higher levels of engagement within our company to help us meet the needs of our highly diverse global customers. The Cigna Group has many programs and resources in place to ensure we are fostering a more inclusive workplace for our Hispanic/Latino coworkers and make a positive impact on Hispanic Americans living in the communities that we serve.
Here are just some of our efforts:
Advancing Hispanic/Latino health equity through access and language services
Approximately 38% of Hispanic/Latino people in the U.S. are not fluent in English. Doctors – and the health care experience overall – can be overwhelming for any culture when patients are facing language barriers, cultural differences, or misunderstand their insurance benefits. In fact, when a provider and a patient are unable to communicate effectively, the language barrier can lead to decreased health outcomes, decreased patient and provider satisfaction, and increased costs for individuals.
A recent study found that the majority of Hispanic Americans (69%) find health care in the U.S. overwhelming, and 46% believe that the health care system doesn’t devote enough resources to the Hispanic/Latino community.
The Cigna Group is taking steps to reduce the barriers of care for the Hispanic/Latino community. For example, to help our Spanish-speaking customers access behavioral health care, Cigna Healthcare has expanded the mental health support offered through Evernorth Behavioral Health to include coaching, therapy, and psychiatry services in Spanish as an in-network benefit. Cigna Healthcare is the first health plan to offer through Ginger, a dynamic, on-demand virtual mental health platform. This is a crucial step forward, as Hispanic Americans are 50% less likely to receive mental health treatment.
Cigna Healthcare’s language and accessibility services are another way we are helping Spanish-speaking customers access care, through bilingual staff, interpretation services (by phone and in person), written translation of benefits, video remote interpretation services, and comprehensive Spanish-language translation of Cigna.com – all with the aim of improving customer experience and increasing health literacy among U.S. Hispanic/Latino customers.
See below for Cigna Healthcare's latest digital health literacy video – available in Spanish.
Training and resources to deliver culturally relevant care
The Cigna Group requires cultural competency training for customer-facing new hires and annually required unconscious bias training for all employees. We also offer a cultural training to expand awareness of health disparities for our employees. New this year, we’ve developed “Cultural Conversations: Diabetes in the Hispanic/Latino Population” to expand knowledge on how Cigna Healthcare is researching and raising awareness around the high incidence of Diabetes in the Hispanic/Latino population.
For our provider partners, Cigna Healthcare offers a cultural competency training series tailored to help participants gain clinical awareness related to culturally driven disparities. This includes the “Delivering Culturally Responsive Care: Hispanic Community Series,” an in-depth, three-part learning series designed to help customer-facing employees gain practical insights on engaging Hispanic/Latino customers in health and wellness programs and services. It enables employees to connect empathetically with Hispanic/Latino customers so they can have the tools to actively participate in improving their health outcomes.
The Cigna Group also has a number of innovative pilots and programs to improve Hispanic/Latino health equity. Our Maternal Health Pilot Program promotes healthy birth outcomes and maternal care for Hispanic/Latina women by collaborating with providers for earlier identification to provide a variety of maternal services, including: risk screenings, free prenatal vitamins and aspirin to prevent preeclampsia, behavioral health screenings, oral health and nutrition education and support. Also, our Community Health Worker Pilot program focuses on diabetes management, and offers personalized support by matching community health workers with diabetic customers in higher risk communities. These workers understand cultural nuances, which helps customers engage with and connect to benefits and available services.
Dedicated employee resource group to empower Hispanic/Latino coworkers
The Juntos enterprise resource group (ERG) at The Cigna Group provides Hispanic/Latino employees with opportunities for growth, learning and development, and a way to build meaningful connections with colleagues, clients, and the communities we serve.
The group hosts regular programming, events, and professional development resources available to all employees. One example is “Juntos 411,” a series of short videos to educate and share information about the Hispanic/Latino culture. Juntos also hosts career development events like “Do’s and Don’ts of Networking,” “Latino Leadership,” and “Ace Your Interview,” which raise employee knowledge and awareness of their goals, strengths and values, and help identify how they can pursue activities both within and outside The Cigna Group.
This Hispanic Heritage Month, the Juntos ERG is hosting a wide variety of events and fireside chats underscoring the theme “Unity in Diversity”, which celebrates the intersection of diverse identities of the Hispanic, Afro-Latino, and LGBTQ+ communities. “Unity in Diversity” will also explore issues of health literacy and cultural competency, and address ways to eliminate health disparities.
In addition to cultural programming and professional development, our Juntos ERG works closely with The Cigna Group’s talent acquisition team to help increase the Hispanic/Latino pipeline within our organization. The ERG also works closely in partnership with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team to support the Hispanic/Latino community while helping to build an empathetic and collaborative spirit among non-Hispanic employees.
Increased spending with Hispanic/Latino-owned businesses
The Cigna Group has made a strong commitment to leverage and foster diversity in all aspects of our business, including the engagement and development of a diverse supplier base. We believe the success of minority-owned and women-owned businesses, as well as other underrepresented suppliers, adds to our success as a company and to the communities we serve.
As part of our enterprise environmental, social, and governance strategy we’ve committed to doubling our indirect diverse supplier support by 2025. Our goal is to reach $1 billion in diverse spend, representing nearly 20% of our $5 billion indirect spend in the U.S. We are on track to reach this, with approximately $921 million already spent with diverse suppliers in 2022. And this goes beyond the companies and partners we work with – as it fuels a direct economic benefit to local communities.
Based on external benchmarks, we estimate that our diverse spending represents $1.2 billion in economic contributions for diverse communities and supports about 2,500 jobs.
More work to do
The Cigna Group’s inclusive culture allows us to look at problems differently and makes us more innovative and a stronger partner for our clients and customers. We’re proud of the work we’ve done to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for our Hispanic/Latino coworkers and the Hispanic/Latino community as a whole.
But we recognize and realize much work remains.
We will continue to partner with organizations, our Juntos ERG, and others to advance the DEI dialogue and make The Cigna Group – and the world – a better place for all.
Careers at The Cigna Group
At The Cigna Group, we’ve made our commitment to help everyone live healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives. We’re making real progress, but we still have work to do. That’s where you come in.