BLOOMFIELD, Conn., May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigna today is launching its new COVID-19 Customer Protection Program to further safeguard its customers from unexpected costs for COVID-19 care through "surprise" or "balance" bills from out-of-network health care providers.
"During these unprecedented times, we are standing with our customers, so those with COVID-19 can focus on fighting this virus and preventing its spread – not on their medical bills," said David M. Cordani, president and chief executive officer, Cigna. "We've taken early, bold actions so that Cigna customers won't have any out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 related care by our in-network provider partners, and we are actively working with out-of-network providers to achieve that same benefit. During this crisis, surprise billing can jeopardize a family's financial security and there are simply no excuses for that."
Cigna customers will not pay out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 related care delivered by an in-network provider anywhere – whether at an office, an urgent care center, emergency room or through virtual care.*
The company is taking further action to protect its customers who receive care from out-of-network providers by advocating that all health care providers bill reasonable, market-based rates for COVID-19 related care. Reasonable rates are generally based on what the federal government pays for care in the geographic area, are in line with state requirements, and are consistent with what is considered normal standards of care for COVID-19. Cigna is reimbursing all providers, both in- and out-of-network, at these reasonable, market-based rates for COVID-19 care.
Surprise or balance bills can occur when an out-of-network health care provider bills a patient directly for the portion of their charges that exceed the fair and reasonable rate. The Department of Health and Human Services and several state governors have taken critical steps to prevent COVID-19 surprise bills, and now Cigna is taking further action to reinforce this protection for its customers, while ensuring that providers are paid promptly.
Cigna's COVID-19 Customer Protection Program is uniquely designed to:
- Ensure out-of-network health care providers who are caring for Cigna customers related to COVID-19 are promptly reimbursed at reasonable, market-based rates, as applicable.
- Work on behalf of patients to support and resolve any surprise or balance billing issues by out-of-network providers.
- Report excessive and/or egregious billing practices to state and federal regulatory officials and associations and to otherwise exercise full legal options, including appropriate litigation actions.
- Increase awareness and advocate for broader consumer protections against surprise billing for COVID-19 and beyond.
"To support the regulatory mandates and remove any remaining uncertainties that customers may have, Cigna has created additional safeguards to mitigate the impact of surprise bills," Cordani continued. "We will partner closely with any Cigna customer who receives a surprise bill related to COVID-19 care and work to resolve the issue, so they can have greater peace of mind."
Cigna's COVID-19 cost-share policy applies to customers in the United States who are covered under Cigna's employer/union sponsored insured group health plans, insured plans for U.S. based globally mobile individuals, Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans (IFP). Cigna has also administered the protections to self-insured group health plans and the company encourages widespread participation, although these plans have the opportunity to opt-out if they choose.
To help reduce the risk of a surprise bill, Cigna customers can use the myCigna® mobile app or call the number on the back of their card to identify in-network health care providers, before seeking care. Customers who receive a surprise bill should call the number on the back of their card for immediate support and guidance.
Cigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 180 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
* The treatments that Cigna will cover for COVID-19 are those covered under Medicare or other applicable state regulations.
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