By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Cigna is making digital mental health services available to its entire nationwide network of 14 million members, and it’s selected health tech startup, Ginger to deliver the new benefit. Cigna’s Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health, Doug Nemecek, and Ginger’s CEO, Russ Glass, stop by to discuss the deal and why Cigna is making such a commitment to expanding its behavioral health offering.
This is about more than just dealing with mental health in the aftermath of Covid; Cigna is actually looking at Ginger’s behavioral health coaching model as preventative. Will other health plans follow suit? Could expanded coverage for lower-acuity mental health services become commonplace? Doug talks about what’s ahead for mental health care from a population health standpoint, and how services like Ginger’s give primary care docs a standard, trusted provider to which they can refer patients when it comes to increasingly common concerns like depression and anxiety. For Russ and Ginger, who talk about using virtual care to right the “supply-and-demand imbalance” in mental health care, what will more than doubling their current client base (from 10 million to 24 million) do to their own ability to provide supply? It’s a moment-of-truth for the business of digital mental health and we’ve got the details!