Cigna Launching Health Tracking Via Fitness Devices

Cigna, which announced earnings this month, will use the fitness data to connect participants to relevant programs.

stethoscope with red cord shaped like a heart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cigna Healthcare plans to launch a new feature on its MyCigna benefits platform next year that allows users to track their mental, physical and social health progress by connecting to compatible fitness devices.

The company, the health benefits division of Cigna Group, said it is linking with artificial intelligence-based technology provider Virgin Pulse to provide the service. Plans call for an initial roll out on Jan. 1, 2024 for certain Cigna customers who receive coverage through their employers. The company said it plans to expand the service over time.

Under the plan, participants will be able to use Apple Watches or other compatible fitness devices to log daily metrics such as their weight, time slept and minutes exercised. They will also be able to share their activity with anyone who uses the platform.

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MyCigna can use participants’ logged data, preferences and claims experiences to connect them to other relevant programs available through their Cigna Healthcare benefits, such as pre-diabetes management or behavioral health services, Cigna said. 

"Digital health programs improve health outcomes and enhance vitality for individuals and their communities," said Heather Dlugolenski, senior vice president, commercial strategy and solutions at Cigna Healthcare.

Health care unit helped boost Cigna's 2Q sales

On Aug. 3, Cigna Group reported second-quarter adjusted sales of $48.6 billion, up 7% from the same year-ago period. The company said the increase reflects strong contributions from its Cigna Healthcare and Evernorth Health Services, its other health services unit, which partially offset the absence of revenues from businesses it divested. These included the sale of life, accident and supplemental benefits businesses in six countries to Chubb INA Holdings in July 2022.

Cigna Healthcare’s adjusted revenue for the quarter rose 12% to $12.7 billion over the same period last year. Both customer growth and premium rate hikes accounted for some of the uptick, Cigna said.

Cigna Group reported a net income slide in the quarter to $1.46 billion, compared with $1.56 billion in second-quarter 2022, which the company attributed to the absence of income from those divested businesses.

The news follows the launches last April of Copay Assurance plan and ClearCareRx, under Evernorth’s pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

The Copay Assurance plan aims to lower the out-of-pocket costs for customers for prescription drugs under a client’s prescription drug benefit, Cigna said. Under the program, customers will pay no more than $5 for generics and specialty generics, $25 for preferred brand drugs, and $45 for preferred specialty brand drugs when they fill a prescription, the company said.

Features of the ClearCareRx program include allowing employer, health plan and government employer customers to pay what Express Scripts pays pharmacies for a prescription, and allowing them to receive 100% of drug rebates that Express Scripts obtains by negotiating with pharmaceutical companies.

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Esther D’Amico
Senior News Editor

Esther D’Amico is Kiplinger’s senior news editor. A long-time antitrust and congressional affairs journalist, Esther has covered a range of beats including infrastructure, climate change and the industrial chemicals sector. She previously served as chief correspondent for a financial news service where she chronicled debates in and out of Congress, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department with a particular focus on large mergers and acquisitions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and in English.