Cigna faces lawsuit alleging inflated home healthcare charges

A policyholder alleged Cigna artificially inflated home healthcare prices to pocket consumers' overpayments, Bloomberg BNA reports.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Cigna Health & Life Insurance Co. Oct. 6 in a Connecticut federal court. The lawsuit claims Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by implementing a billing scheme through its policies with benefit managers such as Hartford, Conn.-based CareCentrix. Under the scheme, benefit managers charged consumers too much for co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles and then pocketed the difference, the lawsuit alleges.

For example, the plaintiff claimed Cigna charged nearly 350 percent more than required for a disposable filter used to treat sleep apnea. The policyholder claims he purchased the filter from a CareCentrix provider for $25.68 as part of his deductible. However, the provider allegedly had a contract with Cigna and CareCentrix to charge $7.50 for the filter, Bloomberg BNA reports. The plaintiff argues Cigna secretly collected the remaining $18.18.

The plaintiff seeks class treatment for the lawsuit for thousands of other plan members.

A Cigna spokesperson told Bloomberg BNA the insurer does not comment on litigation. 

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