Cigna Dental Customers to Have New Online Tools to Find a Dentist, Schedule Appointments, and View Personalized Dental Costs
What will it cost? When can I go? Which dentist should I see? These are the common questions a new set of online tools will help answer for Cigna (NYSE:CI) dental plan customers. The new tools will begin to be available in spring 2016 as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to help customers maintain good oral health.
“Finding a dentist, scheduling an appointment and budgeting for dental expenses are all made easier by the enhancements we’re making to our online tools,” said Fred Scardellette, vice president, Specialty Networks & Operations for Cigna. “We’re working to make it as easy as possible for customers to use their plan as well as to avoid cost surprises.”
A Cigna study last year found that many adults with dental insurance don’t take full advantage of their benefits, even though most dental plans cover preventive exams and cleanings at no or low out-of- pocket costs.
Through a licensing agreement with Brighter, Inc., an innovative dental marketplace platform, Cigna dental customers will have access to improved cost and quality transparency tools, including dentist profiles and verified patient reviews to help compare dental offices and services. Most customers will be able to see actual fees for services by dentist, personalized to their specific plan details, including copays and deductibles, before they make an appointment. In addition, online appointment scheduling and electronic appointment reminders will be available at those network DPPO dentists who have elected to provide patients with these conveniences.
The new tools and features will be available on myCigna.com, the company’s personal website and mobile app. In 2014, there were approximately 31 million customer visits to the myCigna web portal or mobile app, with most individuals looking for a local, quality and cost efficient doctor or facility.
The relationship with Brighter will also make practice management easier for Cigna’s more than 139,000 participating Dental PPO dentists and their staff. Participating dental offices can feature detailed practice profiles to help attract new patients, and upfront cost information helps eliminate surprises for patients, making it easier for people to budget for out-of-pocket costs. In addition, making appointment scheduling and automated appointment reminders available online can help reduce administrative costs and time.
“Brighter is excited to support Cigna in using innovative technologies to engage patients and providers,” said Jake Winebaum, chief executive officer of Brighter. “Our platform enables the modern, online conveniences that consumers have come to expect in other aspects of their lives and makes it easier to build the kind of patient-dentist relationships that increase the value of dental benefits for members and participating providers alike.”