Cigna-HealthSpring and Lyft partnership touts big savings

By Susan Morse
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A six-month medical transportation collaboration between Cigna-HealthSpring and Lyft has resulted in 14,500 free rides and more than 90 percent member satisfaction rate.

Lyft has been transporting Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage members to doctor's appointments and the pharmacy in seven states and the District of Columbia since May.

The move is to ensure at-risk members can keep their appointments and get needed medications to manage chronic conditions, according to Brian Evanko, president of Cigna's Government Business, which includes Cigna-HealthSpring. 

These measures save money for insurers, patients and the healthcare system. The rides are free to certain Cigna-HealthSpring consumers.

"Transportation can be an obstacle for older Americans in getting the care they need, which results in delayed care, worsening conditions and higher costs," Evanko said. 

Cigna said it did not have any financial data as yet on much money the collaboration has saved but said customer satisfaction has been high. The insurer is in the process of examining other expansion opportunities for the coming year.

Since the partnership began in May, more than 14,500 transports have taken place, with 92 percent of Cigna-HealthSpring customers saying by survey that using Lyft is their preferred transportation option, according to Cigna. On average, participants wait less than eight minutes for a ride.

The service is for ambulatory customers and is for non-emergencies only. It is available to Cigna-HealthSpring customers whose benefit plan includes supplemental non-emergency medical transportation coverage through Access2Care. 

The benefit is available to members in select counties in Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and the District of Columbia.