Global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) is the first health plan to be awarded the DALBAR Recognition for Excellence for 2012. DALBAR issued the excellence award to recognize Cigna's My Personal Champion® program that offers specialized support for customers with serious illnesses. A leading independent evaluator of business practices, DALBAR audited the quality and effectiveness of My Personal Champion and found that in addition to being innovative and useful when customers most needed support, the program was well run and provided great value to those being served. The DALBAR award is based on a three-month evaluation consisting of a review of business operations, an evaluation of customers being served and an evaluation of customers who were denied the service. A detailed Audit report is available. “ My Personal Champion demonstrates an important way a health service company can put its customers’ interest first, when the need is greatest,” said Louis S. Harvey, DALBAR’s President. “The need for this program is certain to grow as the complexities of our health care system escalate.” “Cigna's My Personal Champion program is designed to offer specialized support for our customers when they need us most: during a serious illness or injury,” said Brett Browchuk, senior vice president in charge of Service Operations at Cigna. “Customers eligible for the program are assigned a Personal Champion to help navigate the healthcare system, cut through the red tape, coordinate services and get the most from their health plan benefits. “It is an honor to be the only health plan to receive DALBAR’s Recognition for Excellence award for something that is at the core of our mission of improving the health, well being and sense of security of the people we serve.” Cigna customers who qualify for the My Personal Champion program are assigned a Personal Champion to support the individual’s needs and help reduce the administrative burden of their health care. Support includes health care navigation and education on how to maximize plan benefits, technical assistance and proactive monitoring of claims, coordination of services provided by Cigna health management programs, healthcare professionals and community resources. Cigna offers the program as part of its U.S. employee health plans. Currently 6000 employers have adopted the program for their employees and families, covering 60 percent of Cigna's health plan customers.