Cigna: Pay for speech therapy for a toddler with Down Syndrome
Our friend Michelle is raising an amazing daughter. Unfortunately, Cigna doesn't think she's a "normal" child.
Cigna told Michelle that if Nat were born "normal" that they would have covered speech therapy for her if it were required as the result of an accident. I don't know about you, but I'd call an extra chromosome (Down Syndrome, also known as trisomy 21 is the result of two copies, either full or partial, of chromosome 21) more of a miracle than an accident. Why should Nat be penalized for not fitting Cigna's definitions of "normal" or "accident"?
Nat has shown amazing gains from physical therapy and would likely make great strides with concentration on speech. Sadly, Michelle will not see her child make those gains since she cannot afford speech therapy outright. If, however, it was covered under the several hundred dollar monthly insurance premium, then Nat would have a better shot at becoming what Cigna considers "normal".
I don't know about you, but I cannot figure out how Cigna is getting away with this since, under the ACA, insurance companies can't discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. It doesn't get much more pre-existing than this! Nat was born this way, it is her condition, it is pre-existing and Cigna should be required to pay for treatment for this fantastic girl.
Please sign my petition to raise awareness not only about Cigna's stance, but also to show how important it is that we continue reforming health insurance in this country until everyone, especially those currently paying for it, receive the care they need without having to worry if it is covered.
You call yourself a "leading provider of health care and benefits" on your website. You claim that you want to keep people you insure "productive" and yet you have declined coverage for speech therapy which will help make Natalie more productive.
Natalie, "Nat", is a two year old girl who has Down Syndrome. Her mother was told by a Cigna representative that since Nat doesn't require speech therapy as the result of an accident that they will not cover it. You're right, having Down Syndrome is not an accident. It is a miracle. She's amazing, and so is her mom who is raising Natalie by herself.
Regardless of how you qualify her, Natalie needs speech therapy. And you need to pay for it. If you need help finding funding for this therapy, I'm sure the signers of this petition could find some creative ways. One suggestion would be taking a serious look at your CEO's $9.7M salary (not including stock options). Another option could be to cut down on lobbying budget from which you've spent over $2M since Nat was born two years ago.
Michelle pays her insurance out of every paycheck. She sacrifices every day to make sure she is doing everything she can to raise and care for her daughter. Now it is you're turn to do everything you can as her insurance provider. It is time to hold up your end of the agreement.
When I heard what Cigna told Michelle, I was outraged. I couldn't keep quiet. We won't keep quiet about these types of blatant abuse of trust because we do trust our insurance companies to cover us when we need it. Its why we pay our bills when they come in.
Now we're asking you to pay Natalie's.