The top Florida executive for insurer Cigna Corp. says his company isn’t taking the holidays off during a period of big change for health care — customer service representatives will be available to customers by telephone even on Christmas morning.
With 1.1 million customers in Florida, Cigna is trying to set itself apart with round-the-clock service, a renewed focus on wellness programs, and greater transparency on the cost of health products and services to customers, said Dean Mirabella, president and general manager for the company’s Florida and Caribbean markets.
“I believe we’re the only one doing this, ” Mirabella said of the 24/7 customer service by phone. “If it’s Christmas morning or New Year’s Day, that’s just one of those things. People need us to be there when they need us.”
Cigna is not projecting how many Florida customers it hopes to gain in the coming year as the federal health law pushes more people to get covered in 2014, though it generally ranks in top three or four insurers by market share in the state. Florida Blue is No. 1 with about 4 million customers.
In plans on the government-run individual health marketplace in Florida, Cigna’s policies have often featured some of the broadest networks of medical providers if not necessarily the lowest premiums. Going forward, the company expects to retain a heavy focus on providing coverage for businesses, including those who self-insure and hire Cigna to administer the plans.
Tampa native Mirabella, 44, took over his role Sept. 16 after serving as Cigna’s vice president of sales and account management for Florida since 2000. When Mirabella assumed the job, Andrew Crooks, president of Cigna’s southeast region, called him “an exceptional leader with extensive knowledge of the marketplace.”
The phone service on holidays and weekends fits into a broader company mission that emphasizes letting customers see more information about costs with various medical providers, as well as programs to help customers quit smoking, exercise and eat better, to hear company officials tell it.
“We’re trying to help our customers stay well, prevent illness, obtain access to health care and recover,” Mirabella said. “All our focus is really around improved health.”