Health Care

Cigna to resume marketing, enrolling new Medicare Advantage members in July

In this November 2009 photo, a pedestrian walks past the headquarters of the health insurer Cigna Corp. This week, Cigna said that federal regulators have lifted sanctions that had prevented the health insurer from marketing and enrolling new members in its Medicare Advantage and Part D plans.
In this November 2009 photo, a pedestrian walks past the headquarters of the health insurer Cigna Corp. This week, Cigna said that federal regulators have lifted sanctions that had prevented the health insurer from marketing and enrolling new members in its Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. AP

More than a year after federal regulators sanctioned Cigna Corporation for endangering the health of its members, the health insurance company, which does business in South Florida as Leon Medical Centers Health Plans, will resume marketing and enrolling new members in its Medicare Advantage and Part D plans beginning July 1.

Cigna reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that on June 16 the company received notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that the marketing and enrollment sanctions imposed in January 2016 have been lifted.

Sanctions were imposed on the Connecticut-based insurer after an audit found “widespread and systematic failures” that prevented Medicare plan members from accessing medical care and prescription drugs, according to federal regulators.

Cigna’s SEC filing did not state the reason why CMS lifted the sanctions, but in September company officials said they were working with federal regulators to address the audit findings.

Prior to its acquisition by Cigna in 2011, a company called HealthSpring had bought the Leon Medical Centers Health Plans for $400 million in 2007. The Leon Medical Centers where plan members receive most of their care, however, is a separate entity and was not sanctioned by federal regulators.

Benjamin Leon, chairman and founder of Leon Medical Centers, said in a written statement, “Our doors are wide open for all those who want to become new patients and enjoy the medical excellence and personal attention that our patients currently receive at Leon Medical Centers.”

As of May, HealthSpring reported having nearly 45,000 members enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans in Miami-Dade.

Daniel Chang: 305-376-2012, @dchangmiami

  Comments