Cigna Expands and Extends it’s COVID-10 Relief Efforts for Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans

Originally posted on Cigna.com 

  • Waiving cost-share for all in-office or telehealth visits from primary care providers and specialists, including behavioral health
  • Extending previously announced policies, including no cost share for COVID-19 testing and treatment
  • Doubling number of meals available to Medicare Advantage customers at no extra cost following a hospital stay

Effective immediately, global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) is expanding its support for customers during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating cost-sharing for all primary care, specialty care and behavioral health care in-office or telehealth visits for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care. This expansion applies to all U.S. customers enrolled in Cigna’s Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans, including those sold on the Individual Marketplace. Additionally, Cigna is making enhancements to its Medicare Advantage meal plan benefits to further protect customers during this pandemic and underscore the company’s continued commitment to enabling access to simple, affordable and predictable health care.

“COVID-19 has affected all age groups – physically, financially and emotionally,” said Brian Evanko, President of Cigna’s Government Business. “We want everyone to focus on getting and staying well – including those being tested for and diagnosed with the virus and their loved ones – and not having to worry about how they will access or afford the care and services they need.”

Waiving copays, deductibles and coinsurance for physician services
Effective immediately, Cigna is waiving all cost-sharing for in-network medical or behavioral telehealth visits for customers in the U.S. covered by Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans. This waiver further supports customers and the medical community as we work together in preventing and treating those with COVID-19, as well as continuing to provide alternatives to access for all other health and wellness needs.

“For many customers, virtual care is an effective way to address their health concerns and continue to access their medications without leaving the safety of their homes,” said Dr. Gina Conflitti, Chief Medical Officer of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage business.

While telehealth is not suitable for every condition, it is important for people not to defer critical care needs at this time. To further promote health and wellness, Cigna is also waiving cost-sharing for office visits to in-network primary care physicians, specialists and behavioral practitioners for customers covered by its Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans.

“We know it’s important for people to continue to address all of their health and wellness needs – both mind and body – during these stressful times,” Conflitti said. “By waiving cost-sharing for these behavioral health visits, in addition to medical services, we’re making it easier and more affordable for customers to attend to both their mental health and physical well-being in a setting that works best for their individual needs.”

Cigna reminds customers to talk to their provider’s staff and take any necessary precautions before an office visit.

Extending previously announced support for customers
These measures are an expansion of Cigna’s previously-announced efforts listed below to protect customers, providers and communities against COVID-19.

  • Reimbursing providers for COVID-related virtual visits as if they were in-person visits
  • Easing Primary Care Provider (PCP) referrals for specialists in certain situations
  • Eliminating cost share for COVID-19 testing and treatment

Doubling meal benefit for customers following a hospitalization
The company is also extending the meal benefit currently available in its Medicare Advantage plans, providing additional days of nutrition for customers following their discharge from a hospital stay for any condition, including COVID-19. Nutrition is critical following a hospitalization. Meal delivery allows people to shelter in place and recover safely in their own homes.

Cigna’s Medicare Advantage customers will now have access to 28 meals for 14 days at no extra cost following their discharge from a hospital, which doubles the meals offered previously. These home-delivered meals incorporate individual dietary restrictions, and are delivered frozen with preparation instructions.

For Cigna’s Medicare Advantage customers, these cost share measures, benefits extensions and policy changes will be in effect through the end of December 2020. For our Individual and Family Plans/Exchange customers, these changes will apply until the end of applicable federal and state public health emergencies.

Special enrollment periods
Customers who were eligible to pick a Medicare Advantage plan earlier this year, but could not because of the pandemic, are entitled to a special enrollment period. For details, please call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For questions about Cigna’s MA plans, please call 1-866-626-2334 or visit www.cigna.com/medicare.

Additionally, individuals who lost health care coverage from their employer, or had other significant life events, are entitled to a special enrollment period for individual health plans. To see if you qualify for a special enrollment, go to Healthcare.gov. For questions about Cigna’s individual plans, please call 1-888-GET-CIGNA (866-438-2446) or visit https://www.cigna.com/individuals-families.

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