What You Should Know:
– Cigna just announced that they’re the first national plan to reimburse for behavioral health coaching, a new covered benefit available now to 14M members through Ginger. Essentially, Cigna customers with employer-sponsored or individual and family (IFP) insurance plans (14M of their 16M members) can access Ginger’s behavioral health coaching, therapy, and psychiatry services as an in-network benefit.
– During the pandemic, Cigna saw a significant increase in demand for mental health services (27% increase), and 60+% of behavioral health customers conducted at least one virtual session in 2020, signaling that it needed to expand MH covered benefits. There is a national shortage of therapists and psychiatrists, and behavioral health coaching adds a new level of care – and a new pool of trained and certified clinicians who can provide care on-demand that’s an alternative or complement to scheduled therapy or psychiatry sessions.
– As for Ginger, while the company is now a “unicorn,” this news demonstrates another huge piece of momentum. They’ve traditionally focused on the employer market (e.g.: PWC, NBC, Delta, etc.), but this is the first national payer rolling them out – or any other text-based coaching – to individuals/members at scale.
Ginger’s Behavioral Health Coaching
Behavioral health coaching takes an active, goal-oriented approach to address a wide array of sub-acute mental health challenges, ranging from sleep issues to relationship struggles. Available 24/7, Ginger’s behavioral health coaching offering is:
– Prevention-focused: Behavioral health coaching is designed to prevent the onset of more serious mental health conditions before they start.
– Collaborative: Coaches are trained to identify the need for higher-level care, and can help to escalate customers into therapy or psychiatry services when needed. Coaches support individuals through their entire care journey with Ginger.
– Evidence-based: Ginger’s team-based approach is proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, as published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Ginger’s providers are supported by artificial intelligence technology, which helps to surface care insights, support collaboration, and improve quality assurance.
– Cost-effective: Ginger’s behavioral health coaching services support the needs of 80% of the population. One month of care costs less than a single traditional therapy visit.
“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,” said Russell Glass, CEO of Ginger. “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.”