On-demand behavioral health platform Ginger is now available as a health benefit for Cigna’s 14 million members, the companies announced today.
Members with Cigna’s employer-sponsored or individual and family insurance plans can now access Ginger’s behavioral health coaching, therapy and psychiatry services as an in-network benefit.
“Cigna's mission is to improve the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve by making healthcare simple, affordable and predictable,” Dr. Doug Nemecek, the chief medical officer for behavioral health at Cigna, said in a statement.
“Right now, more than ever, individuals are seeking out mental health support, and our relationship with Ginger creates more access to that care, when and where customers need it.”
Interested members can download the Ginger app and provide their insurance information to gain access to the full suite of services.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Demand for behavioral healthcare has been on the rise throughout the pandemic. In fact, more than 40% of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, compared to just 11% in the months prior to the outbreak, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
"We're facing a nationwide supply-demand crisis in mental healthcare, with demand reaching unprecedented levels, and fewer providers entering the industry than ever before," Russell Glass, CEO of Ginger, said in a statement.
"We're proud to partner with leading organizations like Cigna that recognize not only the scope of the nation's mental health crisis, but the importance of taking a preventative approach to this challenge. Together, we are opening up access to incredible mental healthcare for millions at a fraction of the cost of traditional care."
The Ginger platform offers around-the-clock text-based behavioral health coaching with a trained behavioral health specialist. If needed, users can escalate their care to include virtual therapy or psychiatry, with at-home prescription delivery available through Capsule.
It also includes an online library of skill-building resources on topics such as mindfulness, relationships and current events.
THE LARGER TREND
The two companies have been working together for some time now, with Cigna Ventures investing in Ginger’s $50 million raise last year.
More recently, Ginger scored $100 million in a Series E funding round with plans to build partnerships in the insurance space.
This is also not Cigna’s first foray into digital health. Earlier this year, its health services subsidiary Evernorth acquired the telehealth provider MDLive.
Health plans' interest in digital behavioral health is growing and last year UnitedHealth Group's Optum purchased AbleTo for roughly $470 million.