COVER talks to Cigna Europe’s CEO Arjan Toor about the health insurer’s new strategic vision for Whole Health

Cigna Europe has launched a new five-year strategy that focuses on a holistic approach to its healthcare offering and the networking of people’s physical and mental health.

The whole health proposal aims to provide a health solution that encompasses the entire “ecosystem” of health, taking into account not only physical and mental health, but also the many factors that contribute to and ultimately determine conditions of wellbeing , in particular the wider impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is becoming more apparent.

On the subject of matching items

Arjan Toor, CEO of Cigna Europe, told COVER that thinking about wellbeing from a holistic perspective is not a new concept in itself, but the relationship between physical and mental health has come much more into focus in recent years, which has led companies that have traditionally focused on physical health to reassess their strategies.

Covid has created a real, strong awareness and understanding that we can talk about many important things that companies traditionally focus on. However, if the health of your employees is not properly considered, all other things no longer matter. ”

“Whole Health is really about taking this to the next level. It’s not just about understanding the connectivity between physical and mental health, it’s about focusing on the root causes,” he says.

“It is exploring where this is actually coming from and recognizing that it is indeed a very complex ecosystem of various factors that ultimately affect people’s health and wellbeing. These are elements like your home environment, Your family situation and ability to access proper care, the balance you can find between work and personal life, the support network you have around you and your financial health. “

Return on investment

The demand for the whole health approach is illustrated by the conversations Cigna has had with its broker partners and employers, explains Toor, as well as research that has found that 75% of people value lifestyle support from their employers, however only 26% of people say their employer is actively doing something to promote wider wellbeing.

Because of the fragmentation of employee wellbeing support needs, the challenge for healthcare providers is to ensure that their services are comprehensive enough to capture all aspects of the lifestyle ecosystem while being flexible enough to work in specific areas Support that individuals seek from their employers to be improved.

“It’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all solution; it really has to be tailored to the specific situation. A conversation with an employer who is supposed to send employees overseas to Africa or Asia is very different from a conversation with an SME in the UK after a Is looking for a solution for its specific on-site employees, “says Toor.

“Ultimately, there will be a menu of options that we have available to ensure that we can address the specific health needs of each employer and, ultimately, each individual employee.”

It is also a duty of employers not only to find the right solutions, but also to effectively communicate the benefits to workers that will result from using the services to improve their wellbeing. According to Toor, health care providers like Cigna need to better educate employers about the returns investing in wellness solutions can offer rather than focusing on the investments needed.

“We did a lot of research to determine the short-term, and most importantly, long-term returns. I’m talking about improving productivity, reducing sickness absenteeism, and improving overall these are really important elements,” he explains.

“This is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from other employers by introducing this more holistic approach to health and wellbeing. It will position employers better to attract the right talent, but it will also position them better to retain the talent that they do today. This is important to people right now and while this is not a new trend, Covid has amplified this. “

Covid spur

While the holistic approach to health, wellbeing and peace of mind is not necessarily new to Cigna, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the way the entire health insurance market works.

While Cigna already offers health and support services such as employee assistance programs, remote health solutions and wellness programs, as well as case management, chronic disease management and decision support capabilities, Toor explains that the pandemic “really accelerated the thought process of this” and conversations with brokers and decision makers Customers.

“Covid has created a real, strong awareness and understanding that we can talk about a lot of important things that companies traditionally focus on. However, if the health of your employees is not properly considered, all other things will not be considered.” Matter more, “says Toor.

“It really helped make this conversation more strategic, and people say it’s high on their organizations’ list to discuss and find answers Having to speed up time feels right. “

One thing the pandemic has done is the opportunity for discussion about the health ecosystem, both in terms of health care and for a moment of fundamental change in the future, according to Toor.

“Covid-19 has brought many challenges and terrible situations for many people, but the silver lining is that we can turn this around and really talk about the importance of health and what we as a society and employer must do together to address it tackle the whole health ecosystem. There are some good ones that will come out of that, “he explains.

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