Insurer Gives Health Tips Via Facebook

by Lesley Politi on October 15, 2008

Insurer Gives Health Tips Via Facebook

Tuesday, October 14, 2008; HE05


One health insurance company is signing on to Facebook to educate its customers.

Last week, Cigna launched a set of free online courses, games and podcasts about health issues. The new tools can be found on the popular social networking site as well as on iTunes and at

The goal is to take confusion out of health care and help people make confident health-care decisions, said Karen Kocher, Cigna’s chief learning officer. “Today, individuals don’t have the knowledge to make decisions about health,” Kocher said. “The mission is to educate.”

Users can access such tools as a calculator that computes a woman’s most fertile day of the month. Various quizzes assess the risk of such ailments as osteoporosis, gum disease and heart disease.

Cigna is offering rewards designed to appeal to users’ altruism: For every three questions a user answers correctly, Cigna is donating clean water for a day to one child in India. More than 25,000 days’ worth of water have been donated since the program was launched.

Cigna also offers interactive charts about the health-care plans of the Republican and Democratic parties, and how they might affect individuals.

Aetna and other insurance companies have created similar online educational tools. They are particularly important at a time when health-care costs are high and the health-care system is under scrutiny, Kocher said.

“In general we hope this helps the U.S. health situation take a big step forward,” she said.



– Sindya Bhanoo


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