Cigna, New York Life launch fund to support families of healthcare workers who died fighting COVID-19

Updated at 1:25 p.m. on May 29:

The Brave of Heart Fund is now accepting its first applications for grants.

The fund, launched as a joint effort between Cigna and New York Life, offers financial support to the families of healthcare workers who died on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initial dispersed grants will be $15,000 for eligible families, with the chance to secure $60,000 in additional funding.

Applications can be submitted at or by phone at 855.334.7392.

Cigna and New York Life are partnering to provide financial support to the families of healthcare workers who died fighting COVID-19. 

Through their respective foundations, the two insurers are launching the Brave of Heart Fund, which will offer grants to the families to avoid financial hardships and pay for behavioral and mental health services. Each company will seed the fund with a $25 million donation. 

New York Life will also match the first $25 million in outside donations, the companies said Tuesday. The fund is aiming to reach $100 million in total. 

“As we’ve seen in the past, trying times bring out the best in us, as individuals and communities,” Cigna CEO David Cordani said in a statement. “Our nation’s healthcare workers are embodying this every day, as they answer the call of duty with bravery and selflessness.” 

RELATED: Cigna, Humana to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment 

Cigna will also provide families with behavioral and emotional health support to help them navigate feelings of grief, according to the announcement. 

Families of physicians, nurses, technicians, orderlies, cafeteria workers, custodians, volunteers and others on the front lines are eligible for the funding. Eligible families can receive up to $75,000. 

The Brave of Heart Fund will begin accepting applications in May, with initial payouts of up to $15,000 based on financial need. Families are eligible for up to $60,000 in additional funding based on their needs, the insurers said. 

“The Brave of Heart Fund is our way to honor these heroes by doing what New York Life and Cigna do best—supporting these individuals and their families with financial and emotional support and being there when we are needed most,” Ted Mathas, New York Life CEO, said in a statement.