On December 16th, 2019 Cigna (NYSE: CI) released a statement notifying Memorial Hermann, it will end their commercial contract. The change is set to go into effect as of March 16th, 2020. The reason citing for the termination of the partnership was due to the hospital system refusing to negotiate rates. Cigna believes that keeping health care affordable for customers should be its priority. According to Cigna, the hospital system has shown the opposite stance.
Memorial Hermann Initiates Price Raise
Earlier in the year Memorial Hermann unilaterally rose the list price of services. This made it more expensive for customers in Cigna plans who get care from Hermann’s hospitals, doctors, and facilities. Since the price rises, Memorial Hermann has refused to negotiate with Cigna that would help lower rates for their customers compared to prices for others who use the hospital system.
Cigna President Speaks
In a statement released by James Hickey, president of Cigna’s South Texas market, Cigna has stated they are committed to providing customers with access to affordable quality care. ” Unfortunately, Memorial thinks that Cigna customers should pay more than anyone else, and we think that’s just wrong.” Hickey also stated that health care is purchased and consumed locally. The rates charged for that care should reflect local costs and should be competitive with the market rates. “We would very much like to keep Memorial Hermann in our network, but not at the excessively high rates that it’s expecting our customers to pay,”.
Can you Still Get Help at Memorial Hermann?
Cigna’s network in the Houston area is extensive. Customer service is available 24/7/365 to offer help to those in need. They can also access the provider’s directory online at mycigna.com or using the myCigna app. As long as the contract continues (March 16th, 2020) customers can receive care for certain conditions at Memorial Hermann. If needed Cigna service representatives can also help with the arrangements. For more information about Cigna visit https://www.cigna.com/
Wondering about your client? Give them a call and inform them of the upcoming changes due to the ending contract. They might be eligible for an SEP to help them change networks or hospitals.