CHRISTUS to possibly terminate Cigna Insurance

Published: Mar. 4, 2019 at 6:05 PM CST
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On March 15, the CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini health system is planning to terminate Cigna Insurance unless they increase their rates.

Local businesses and physicians that are carriers of Cigna have probably already received a letter about insurance coverage changes at CHRISTUS Cabrini Hospital.

For more than two years, the local health system has not received an increase in rates from the insurance company, and there are even facilities that haven't had an increase in more than a decade.

The warning letter for Cigna carriers was sent out at the end of January. It stated, "We've asked Cigna only for a minimal increase in our rates, while they are asking us to take a substantial decrease, which isn't sustainable.”

The letter also went on to explain why CHRISTUS is asking for an increase and ended encouraging those who are covered by Cigna to call the insurance company and let them know how important it is to keep CHRISTUS as a network.

The hospital has been negotiating with Cigna since September of 2017 about the rates. If an agreement isn't reached by March 15, Cigna customers will no longer have in-network coverage at CHRISTUS Cabrini.

After speaking to Cigna Representative Mark Slitt, he added Cigna's goal is to keep health care costs as low as possible.

"Contrary to what Christus has asserted, Cigna has not asked for a rate reduction at Christus St. Frances Cabrini. Also, rates at Christus St. Frances Cabrini have not been frozen but have actually increased over the past two years. In fact, under the contract that Christus has canceled, rates increase automatically every July," Slitt explained.

"Christus Health seems to think that Alexandria residents should support ever-increasing hospital rates. Cigna has a different point of view and we are doing what we can to hold the line on medical costs."