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Cigna Won’t Renew Marketplace Coverage in Florida 2016

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CIGNA-Insurance-FloridaCigna decides to withdraw its Florida health care plans from the 2016 exchange, just two weeks prior to the start of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period.

Cigna Insurance Is Pulling Out

Cigna Inc. of Harford, CT, notified several Florida insurance brokers this past Thursday through e-mail their plans to pull out of the Florida marketplace. Cigna also stated that they will be notifying costumers through regular mail starting this week. The large insurance company blames the exorbitant costs of its Florida plans mainly on fraudulent and abusive charges stemming from the “out-of-network substance abuse clinics and labs.”

“We have experienced an exponential increase in fraudulent and abusive care delivery practices in 2015 in Florida,” said Cigna spokesman, Joseph Mondy.

Mondy cited numerous reports that were published by The Palm Beach Post that touched upon the fraudulent issues Florida is facing when it comes to the treatment of addiction. One of the articles referenced is titled, “Addiction treatment bonanza: How urine tests rake in millions” and was posted in August of this year.

Who Is Affected By Cigna’s New Plan?

Insurance holders who are covered by Cigna through Medicare or through an employer’s/union’s group plan will not be affected. This new decision made by Cigna will only apply to the 2016 plans for those who will be obtaining their insurance through Healthcare.gov starting November 1, 2015.

How Many People Are Affected?

According to Amy Bogner, spokeswoman for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, an estimated 30,000 Floridians who are enrolled in 2015 Cigna insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace will be affected. The insurance company had offered seven plans throughout the state of Florida this year.

There is no immediate impact on their current customers – except, of course, if they want to renew for 2016.

“However, if they plan to renew their enrollment on the Florida Marketplace exchange for 2016, they will have to enroll in a plan offered by another health carrier,” says Mondy.

Will Other States Be Affected?

As of now, Cigna is reporting that only the state of Florida will be affected by this change, and plans to return to the marketplace in 2017.

Why Is Florida Being Targeted?

We have come so far when it comes to the treatment of drug addiction and alcoholism, making great strides in the fair treatment of those who have been afflicted by the disease of addiction. Unfortunately, certain bad treatment programs decided to abuse the system, affecting countless lives. The poorly run clinics and labs have been taking advantage of the out-of-network benefits that Cigna was providing to cover substance abuse treatment. The abusive and fraudulent practices are mainly excessive urine testing (which could cost Cigna as much as $3,000 a test) and other kickbacks for patient referrals. Because of the direct actions of these bad treatment centers, those who genuinely need and want to attend a good treatment program might not be able to go now. This change in coverage could literally aid in the death of addicts and alcoholics who need real help.

What Now?

The other concern is that if these fraudulent and abusive behaviors continue in the state of Florida, will other major insurance companies pull out as well? We know there are bad treatment centers out there, but we also know there are good treatment centers, like The Watershed, that are here to help provide real treatment to those suffering from the disease of addiction and help save lives. It’s unfair that those who want to get help are being punished because these unregulated and poorly run treatment programs have been allowed to exist.

If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol abuse problem and are not sure if you will be affected by Cigna’s plan changes, contact us now to speak with an addiction treatment specialist.

Get help today! Call Now! 1-800-861-1768

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