Cigna Resumes Selling Medicare Advantage

Starting today, July 1, 2017, Cigna is once again allowed to sign up new Medicare Advantage members. Cigna wrote in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the sanctions against the company had been lifted. As reported on this blog in January 2016, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) banned Cigna from signing up new Medicare Advantage customers and from marketing its services to potential Medicare recipients due to practices that the CMS claimed endangered the health of Cigna’s Medicare customers.

Just what changes Cigna has made to free itself from the CMS ban in unclear. However, if you wish to read the original letter that CMS sent to Cigna, you can see it in PDF format by clicking here. In that letter, CMS wrote that “Cigna has received numerous notices of non-compliance, warning letters, and corrective action plans from CMS over the past several years.” That sentence implies that Cigna was not just out of compliance with one CMS directive but that there was a systemic failure of Cigna to follow federal government rules.

Cigna has expanded by acquiring smaller health-insurance firms, and to this day, it does not seem to have integrated all of those acquisitions into its overall operations. I have Cigna Healthspring insurance, for example, but I am unable to view my coverage on Cigna’s main insurance website, due to a bug in the system that Cigna promised to fix a year ago but has not fixed yet.