MDLIVE helps meet rising demand for virtual care

Use of virtual care continues to soar – by about 38X higher than a pre-COVID-19 baseline.1 Factors like the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which emerged right alongside with the 2021-2022 flu season, created a more recent demand for virtual care – a trend expected to continue. It’s estimated that, in the future, one in three health care visits will take place virtually.2 Cigna's virtual care provider, MDLIVE, responds by continuing to grow its provider roster. They maintain a team of board-certified doctors, pediatricians, dermatologist and behavioral health providers who average 10 years of experience.

“MDLIVE is a virtual care multi-specialty practice in Cigna's network. In fact, they offer a full suite of comprehensive services – including urgent, primary (routine and preventive care/wellness screenings), behavioral health care (therapy and psychiatry) and dermatology care to help customers receive whole person health,” explained Shawna Dodds, vice president of product development for Cigna.

Our virtual care solutions meet customers where they are – to make care more convenient.
Virtual care solutions through MDLIVE may be particularly appealing for those feeling put off by the time and travel needed for an in-person doctor’s office visit. Failing to prioritize one’s health can lead to more serious and possibly more expensive problems. MDLIVE can help get customers engaged in their health early to avoid this outcome. Customers can access MDLIVE by phone or video connection via their secure HIPAA-compliant platform. They can send and receive provider messages using secure messaging or email, when appropriate. MDLIVE is also available to customers in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

MDLIVE physicians can also help guide customers to appropriate in-person care through referral smartlinks, where customers are transferred to the myCigna® provider directory displaying high-performing specialty physicians in their network and area. Customers with chronic conditions can also track biometrics like blood pressure and glucose levels through MDLIVE’s patient health monitoring program. If there are elevated readings, customers receive a prompt to schedule a routine care visit. During the visit, the provider will review the data and consider additional treatment options and/or referrals.

MDLIVE also helps to support many Cigna programs. The SafeGuardRx® for Cigna Weight Management Program is an example.

The pandemic lifestyle of staying home more and moving around less has meant weight gain for many. A survey of several thousand people by the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that 42 percent reported gaining weight during the pandemic – an average of 29 pounds.3 Through the SafeGuardRx for Cigna Weight Management Program, eligible customers on a weight-loss journey can schedule appointments with an MDLIVE virtual physician. This allows them to receive personalized coaching to help succeed in their health goals.*

In addition to being safe and convenient, MDLIVE can help drive down costs.
MDLIVE urgent care is less expensive than a visit to an emergency room or physical urgent care center. The average cost for a low-acuity virtual care visit is $93 less than an in-person provider visit,4 $120 less than a specialist visit4 and $141 less than an urgent care facility.5

We also offer an exclusive MDLIVE urgent care benefit. Clients can configure this benefit to $0 to help encourage customers to choose MDLIVE. Full cost transparency is always available – across the myCigna App or website and through MDLIVE, customers will see their specific cost share displayed.

Customers can schedule care with MDLIVE anytime via myCigna.com or the myCigna App.
Customers can access virtual care on myCigna.com using the “Talk to a Doctor” button on the homepage. To do so via the app, customers can choose the “Find Care & Costs” button and then select “Virtual Care.” Single sign-on capabilities are available through both channels. A customer will not need to login again or register with a separate username and password on MDLIVE’s platform, nor will they need to enter health or prescription drug insurance. Once on the platform, customers can select the type of care needed, and then follow prompts to make an on-demand virtual visit or schedule a future appointment. 

MDLIVE urgent care is available on-demand 24 hours a day, any day of the year, as well as by appointment. Primary and behavioral care require appointments. For dermatology services, customers can upload photos at any time and can receive support on-demand or by appointment.

For customers who need to fill a drug prescribed by an MDLIVE provider, they can use the MDLIVE portal to arrange fulfillment by Express Scripts Pharmacy®, our home delivery pharmacy, or through a local in-network retail pharmacy.

We offer MDLIVE to all Cigna clients, across our entire book of business.
We believe the services available through MDLIVE are beneficial for all and should be easy to access. That is why all commercial clients have access to MDLIVE’s comprehensive suite of services – urgent care, primary care, dermatological care, and behavioral health – all at no additional cost.

For questions, please contact your Cigna Account Manager.

* SafeGuardRx for Cigna Weight Management Care Value program is available as of April 2022. To be eligible, commercial clients must have either a Cigna buy-up weight management program, a documented in-house weight management program, or must elect coverage for specified weight management therapy drugs. A clinical assessment determines eligibility for a preferred weight loss medication and further clinical consultation.

  1. Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality? McKinsey & Company. Mckinsey.com. 9, July, 2021. <https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality>. Accessed January 26, 2022.
  2. Birhanzel, R. (2020, June 30). “Health’s NewFUTURE: Virtual health reaches the point of no return – but is the healthcare ecosystem ready to sustain it?” Accenture. <https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/insight-driven-health/healths-newfuture>
  3. Weir, Kirsten. The extra weight of COVID-19. American Psychological Association. apa.org. 1 July, 2021. <https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/07/extra-weight-covid>. Accessed January 26, 2022.
  4. Cigna 2021 utilization data, 1/1/2020–8/31/2021.
  5. Cigna 2019–2020 analysis of total medical costs for medical customers with Cigna Virtual Care.

Cigna provides access to dedicated virtual care through a national telehealth provider, MDLive located on myCigna, as part of your health plan. Providers are solely responsible for any treatment provided to their patients. Video chat may not be available in all areas or with all providers. This service is separate from your health plan’s network and may not be available in all areas. $0 virtual care benefit for minor acute medical care not available for all plans. HSA plans and non-minor acute medical care may apply a copay, coinsurance or deductible. Virtual care does not guarantee that a prescription will be written. Refer to plan documents for complete description of virtual care services and costs, including other telehealth/telemedicine benefits. For IL customers a primary care provider referral may be required for specialist virtual visits.

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Product availability may vary by location and plan type and is subject to change. All group health insurance policies and health benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For costs and details of coverage, review your plan documents or contact a Cigna representative.

All Cigna products and service are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, (CHLIC), Evernorth Care Solutions, Inc., Evernorth Behavioral Health, Inc., Cigna Health Management, Inc., Evernorth, Accredo Health Group, Inc., Express Scripts, Inc., ESI Mail Pharmacy Service, Inc., Express Scripts Pharmacy, Inc., Tel-Drug, Inc., Tel-Drug of Pennsylvania, L.L.C., Lynnfield Drug, Inc., and HMO or service company subsidiaries of Cigna Health Corporation. Policy forms: OK - HP-APP-1 et al., OR - HP-POL38 02-13, TN - HP-POL43/HC-CER1V1 et al. (CHLIC). The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are trademarks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. "Express Scripts" is a trademark of Express Scripts Strategic Development, Inc. This newsletter is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

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