BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Your employer's health care benefits enrollment packet has arrived and the deadline for your decision may be looming.
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If you're like many Americans, this process of weighing benefits and costs isn't among your favorite tasks. And even though you'd rather spend time doing something else, the decisions you make will affect your family's health and pocketbook for at least the next 12 months.
What do you need to know to make the right choices for you and your family? Cigna is offering tools and tips to help make that decision a little easier.
"Each individual's personal circumstances and health needs are different, and so no two people will approach their decision in the exact same way," said Ingrid Lindberg, chief customer experience officer for Cigna. "But there are common things that everyone should do before enrolling, such as making sure your doctor is in the health plan's network, thinking about your health care needs and what might change next year, and checking to see how your medications will be covered."
Lindberg said Cigna has developed an easy checklist for people to reference when making decisions about their health plan and has also created its "Let's Be Clear" online resource to help translate insurance jargon into understandable language.
In a recent Cigna-Gfk Roper survey, significant numbers of people weren't able to say for sure whether their plan provides health coaching over the phone, discounts on health and wellness products/services, or price estimates in advance for different types of care. The survey also revealed that about two-thirds percent of those surveyed don't know if their plan offers a way to use the Internet to compare cost and quality for doctors and hospitals. Cigna suggests that people take the time to review all of the information that they receive to be sure that they know in advance what is offered by their health benefit plan.
Dr. Alan Muney, chief medical officer for Cigna, encourages people to look for programs that will help them stay well, such as health coaching programs for managing stress, losing weight, quitting tobacco or adding more physical activity.
"Health coaches, counselors, nurse case managers and other health care experts are often available to people with one phone call," Muney said. "My advice is for people to think of their health care plan as a resource they can use to stay healthy and well, and not just something they think about and use when they're sick."
Cigna (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. Cigna Corporation's operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna offers products and services in 30 countries and jurisdictions and has more than 66 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by Cigna Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America, and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. To learn more about Cigna®, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://newsroom.cigna.com/rss. Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit Cigna's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cigna and listen to Cigna's podcast series with healthy tips and information at http://www.cigna.com/podcasts or by searching "Cigna" in iTunes.