Cigna, MDLIVE make behavioral health virtual visits more convenient

Beginning in January 2020, select Cigna customers will be able to schedule appointments online to see behavioral health counselors or psychiatrists.


Cigna has teamed-up with MDLIVE to make it simpler and more convenient for its customers to seek care for conditions like anxiety, stress, and depression. Beginning in January 2020, Cigna’s 14 million customers enrolled in employer-sponsored plans will be able to schedule appointments online to see behavioral health counselors or psychiatrists when they want and where they want, securely, by video or phone. This new service is launching in addition to Cigna’s Behavioral Health network of more than 18,000 virtual behavioral health providers.

“Providing personalized and affordable health solutions when and where our customers need them and ensuring quality treatment are our top priorities,” Julie McCarter, vice president of product solutions at Cigna, said in a statement. “As the demand for mental health professionals continues to grow, it can be challenging for customers to have access to care at the times they need it most. Working together with MDLIVE, we are delivering increased connectivity to help our customers live their healthiest and most vibrant lives.”

In January 2020, Cigna customers can visit to easily schedule a video or phone-based counseling appointment through MDLIVE with a mental health care professional, including licensed behavior care counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. These mental health professionals can diagnose and provide therapy for a wide range of issues as well as prescribe medicines when appropriate. The consults are covered at the same customer cost share as an in-office visit.

“Through this collaboration we can break down the traditional barriers that often prevent people from getting the behavioral health care they need, starting with making it easy for a user to find a provider and schedule an appointment,” added Rich Berner, CEO of MDLIVE.

Cigna is one of the largest national behavioral carriers with more than 170,000 providers, a growing virtual network and specialized Centers of Excellence in substance abuse and mental health. In 2020, Cigna will be creating preferred provider networks to address areas of the country where the behavioral provider industry faces a significant supply and demand issue.

Cigna’s suite of behavioral solutions supports customers wherever they are in their mental health and well-being journey. These services include a 24/7 crisis line, emotional well-being and work/life support, more than 1,000 coaches and specialists helping individuals improve their mental health and substance use conditions, and evidence-based digital platforms to help customers build greater resilience and cope with stress, anxiety, and depression.

In the U.S., 20 percent of people have a mental health condition, yet only one-third seek out services. Challenges include stigma, long wait times, inconvenient hours and limited providers in rural areas. When left untreated, mental health conditions can intensify and lead to other chronic or life-threatening health conditions.