Hey Medicare Nation!
I'm so happy to be here and tell you the latest, regarding Cigna-HealthSpring (Cigna) Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPD) and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP).
In January of 2016, CMS suspended Cigna from enrolling NEW Medicare Beneficiaries into their Medicare Advantage and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans.
The following States were affected by the suspension:
Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennesse.
ON June 16, 2017, CMS released the suspension of marketing and enrollment sanctions on Cigna.....with a big BUT.
On March 17, 2017, CMS received an attestation from Cigna, stating Cigna had corrected all the violations that were listed in the CMS sanction notice.
Quoted from the letter CMS sent to Cigna interim CEO & COO Mr. Shawn Moore -
"CMS required Cigna to hire an independent auditor to conduct a validation audit provide CMS with the results of the audit.
CMS used the information in the audit report to determine whether Cigna corrected the deficiencies that formed the basis for the sanction."
Based on the results of the audit report, CMS determined that......"Cigna's deficiencies have been sufficiently corrected." Therefore, effective June 16, 2017, CMS is lifting the intermediate sanctions for Cigna's contracts and Cigna will return to normal marketing and enrollment status."
Further down in the CMS document, on page 2, paragraph 1, line 3, it states...."In addition, during the independent validation audit, several findings were indentified, none of which prevent CMS from releasing Cigna from sanctions, but some of which merit additional monitoring and reporting.
.......For up to one year, CMS will also conduct targeted monitoring in certain areas to ensure that Cigna continues to improve its operations.
What does that mean if you are currently a Medicare beneficiary on a Cigna-HealthSpring MAPD or PDP Plan?
First of all, you are completely covered. Your benefits are intact and current.
What you need to do now is become more "diligent" in reviewing your "explanation of benefits" (EOB) statement.
Your EOB statement will contain information regarding prescription drugs, medical visits, diagnostics etc.
You should be ensuring the prescriptions listed on your EOB are the ones you received and that each doctor, diagnostic tests & procedures, hospitalizations etc. were actually done!
Mistakes happen more than you know. Human errors and computer errors happen frequently. When you look at your EOB Statement every month you help eliminate these errors.
It is soooo important to review your EOB statement each month.
If you find an error on your EOB statement, you have several options to rectify it.
#1. Call Cigna Customer Support (800-668-3813)
Explain to customer support the "discrepency" you found on your EOB statement. That may easily correct the issue you found.
#2. Call your Medicare Consultant, Medicare Advisor or Agent.
Your Medicare Agent, who "sold" you this policy, should be available to assist you with questions or issues with your Cigna plan.
#3. Contact Senior Medicare Patrol
Go to the Senior Medicare Patrol website to look up resources in your area.
Senior Medicare Patrol
#4. Contact your State Dept. of Aging
Every State has a Department of Aging or Department of Elder Affairs, which will assist you with many types of issues.
The "Healthy Aging" website has a list of each State's contact information for their Department of Aging or Elder Affairs.
Here's the link:
Healthy Aging List of State Agencies
#5. Contact Medicare
As a last resort, call Medicare directly. Government "downsizing" has caused delays in telephone correspondence, but it is still a reliable source.
Expect to be on hold from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the day and season.
Expect to see Cigna hit the airwaves and your mailboxes with advertisements regarding their Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans.
If you are not sure if you should remain on a Cigna Medicare Advantage Plan for 2018 and you have no one to speak to for assistance, call me!
I am available for consulting and I do so on an hourly basis. I charge $150.00 an hour and I assure you, I am very honest in my time.
If you have an interest in contacting me for consulting, send me an email to:
You can also visit my website for more information.
I thank each of you for listening to Medicare Nation and I look forward to hearing from you with any questions you have regarding Medicare.
Until next time, have a happy, peaceful and prosperous week!