US probe still preventing Cigna from enrolling new Medicare members

Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna will not enroll new members in its private Medicare plans this year amid persisting issues highlighted in a U.S. regulator probe, Bloomberg reports.

In January regulators banned Cigna from selling certain Medicare plans to new customers, citing "widespread and systematic failures," including the denial of healthcare coverage and prescription drugs to patients who should have received them. In addition, Cigna's documentation practices and failure to implement a risk assessment program, among other alleged violations, raised concern.

Cigna said in a regulatory filing Tuesday the problems will not be resolved in time for Medicare's open enrollment next month. The insurer had 533,000 Medicare Advantage members and 1.04 million Medicare Part D members as of June 30, according to the report. While new members will not be accepted, existing members can renew their plans for next year.

"We continue to address the matter in full partnership with CMS," Matt Asensio, a Cigna spokesman, said in an email to Bloomberg. "Our current customers' benefits are not impacted." 

The insurer's shares fell almost 1 percent to $126.67 at 11:28 a.m. CST Wednesday. 

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