Cigna announces goal to cut customers' opioid overdoses by 25% by end of 2021

On Thursday, Cigna announced a goal to reduce opioid overdoses by 25% among its customers in targeted communities by year-end 2021. (Cigna)

Health insurer Cigna wants to cut the number of opioid overdoses among its customers by 25% within three years.

In particular, the Bloomfield, Connecticut-based company plans to address overdoses by focusing new drug prevention and treatment efforts in targeted cities around the U.S. The company also said it will work with employers, customers, clinicians, pharmacists and community-based organizations to reach its goal by December 2021.

The announcement comes just a few months after Cigna reported it reduced opioid use by 25% among its customers. However, Cigna claims data showed that despite a reduction in the number of prescriptions, opioid overdoses continue to rise.

The announcement also comes after the House passed dozens of bills over the last two weeks meant to address opioid misuse and addiction. It is unclear how the Senate plans to respond, Stat reported.

RELATED: Cigna says it's slashed customers' opioid use by 25%

Cigna said it will focus its local efforts in areas where it has the most customers and where there are higher than average overdose rates including communities in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia and in the metropolitan areas of Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Cigna said it already partners with employers to make health plan benefit design decisions such as integrating medical, pharmacy and behavioral benefits and offering dedicated programs to help people struggling with addiction.

RELATED: Cigna touts progress in effort to curb opioid use