CIGNA University helps consumers navigate through healthcare

October 15, 2008

Consumers would rather do their taxes than wade through their health benefits materials, but one managed care plan is offering free assistance to help make sense of it all.

CIGNA University helps consumers navigate through healthcare

The healthcare industry, particularly the insurance industry, is confusing and frustrating, many studies have found, including recent research by CIGNA.

“Americans feel frustrated with the current healthcare system,” says Sheila McCormick, head of consumer education at CIGNA. “Employers are struggling to manage rising costs. Doctors are spending too much time on paperwork. People are hungry for health education and especially now, as millions prepare to enroll in company benefit plans and evaluate presidential healthcare proposals.”

In fact a recent study found that:
• 30% of Americans would rather do their taxes than read about health insurance;
• Only 52% of consumers understand their insurance coverage;
• 8% say they understand everything they need to know;
• 43% of workers call it a “top challenge” to understand what their healthcare plan covers.

At the same time, healthcare costs are escalating, with the United States spending $2 trillion annually on healthcare.

Enter CIGNA University, a resource for healthcare. CIGNA University is the educational arm of CIGNA Corp. and provides on-demand learning at no charge via www.itstimetofeelbetter.com/knowstuff.

“CIGNA University is designed to help all individuals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to become confident healthcare consumers—who are better equipped to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families,” says McCormick.

The CIGNA University initiative adds to CIGNA’s growing portfolio of alternative media strategies for involving people in improving their health, including virtual health Web sites and interactive, educational video games.

“Health insurers should do everything in their power to educate people about healthcare, so everyone can stay well, receive the highest quality care, and spend his or her healthcare dollars most effectively,” she says.