- Honeywell International
Stop restricting treatment for mental illness
My son, Mario Bordonali, endured major depressive disorder for years and it eventually became resistant to the available medications. His best chance at survival was ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). It has a good success rate with treatment resistant depression and had worked well for his grandmother. He had been an electrical engineer until depression and anxiety rendered him unable to work. His last job was with Honeywell and his insurance (COBRA) was through them. Cigna is the administrator. The hospital with the most expertise and experience in ECT is Emory, but Cigna told him that, although he could get physical/surgical treatment there "in network", if he went there for mental health care it would be "out of network" and much more expensive. So he sought treatment at a smaller "in network" hospital. That ECT facility did not return phone calls, closed down early on days they were supposedly open, and would not even schedule a consultation for almost a month after he contacted them. During that time the depression grew worse, and he ended his own life on January 23rd of this year. His death is a tragedy that could have been averted if he had simply been able to go to the same hospital he could have gone to for a broken arm. No one else should have to suffer the way he did, or the way that we, his family, are suffering now, and there are so many people out there just like him. Even with the recent changes in mental health parity rules, what Cigna did was not illegal. It was just irresponsible and insensitive to the point of being cruel. Cigna's policy needs to be changed. People struggling with mental illness find life difficult enough without having to fight to get treatment, and they are often unable to advocate for themselves. For my son and others like him, treatment delayed can be treatment denied. (Although that didn't stop Cigna from continuing to send bills for his policy even after being notified of his death.) The social and economic cost of untreated mental illness is far greater than the cost of treatment, and health insurers need to recognize that. Please join with me in trying to make that happen.
- Honeywell International
Honeywell International hired Cigna to provide health insurance for its employees and to administrate its Cobra plan. Surely those employees deserve better. Judging from the comments this petition has generated, Cigna routinely restricts access to, and denies claims for, mental health treatment. While Cigna has a well deserved reputation for placing shareholders interests above those of its premium-paying customers, every once in a while it's possible to do the right thing. This could be one such time. At the very least, Cigna could require its behavioral health division (or contractor) to investigate the hospitals it demands that its policyholders use. Better yet would be to eliminate the "in network/out of network" distinction between medical vs. mental health treatment. If policyholders can use a facility for medical/surgical care then they should have access to that same facility for psychiatric care as well. What Cigna is doing is not in keeping with mental health parity laws and they know it. If Honeywell is at all concerned about its employees then it should be aware of the practices Cigna regularly uses against them. Thank you for your consideration.
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