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Cigna fined for steering employers wrong on HMO changes

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has fined Cigna HealthCare of New Jersey and Connecticut General Life $2.1 million for deceiving employers, and ordered Cigna to restore better coverage to 2,123 small businesses.

In March 2006, Cigna withdrew significant benefits from its standard health maintenance organization (HMO) plan for small employers. Instead of offering the reduced plan alongside the state-mandated HMO, Cigna pushed the lesser plan through Connecticut General Life, billing it as a plan with “exciting new options.” The excitement came in the form of skimpy benefits.

Advice: It’s a tedious job, but someone in your company needs to fully review all policy changes and renewals. Get help from your agent or insurer: Ask for a written, side-by-side comparison of any new or renewing benefits plans.

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