As unbelievable as it may sound, CIGNA insurance took a major step backwards last month following AETNA’s lead (in 2004) to stop paying claims for patients with Vitiligo. Aetna stopped in 2004 for home phototherapy systems and last month CIGNA hit with both barrels and stopped covering Vitiligo for UVB Narrow Band Home Users and also for in-clinic UVB NB Therapy. I find it absolutely incredulous that a company can take such a giant step backwards.
CIGNA actually have the balls to say that Vitiligo is a cosmetic problem and not worthy of insurance coverage! This is a real challenge for peope with Vitiligo. AETNA, some branches of Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Medical Mutual of Ohio all think that Vitiligo is a cosmetic problem and not a disease!
The new CIGNA policy can be found at http://uvbnarrowband.com//wp-content/uploads/pdfs/Cigna_Insurance_Coverage_2010.pdf. This is a true shame.
AETNA’ say “Aetna considers home phototherapy experimental and investigational for the treatment of vitiligo because there is a lack of evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of home phototherapy for this condition.” Their policy can be found at www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/400_499/0422.html
IN CLINIC PHOTOTHERAPY
Page 2 of 13CIGNA does not cover phototherapy, photochemotherapy or excimer laser therapy for the treatment of localized or generalized vitiligo in any setting because such treatment is considered cosmetic and not medically necessary. Services that are cosmetic are not covered under most benefit plans.
HOME PHOTOTHERAPYPage 8 of 13 says Not Medically Necessary/Cosmetic/Not Covered for E0691 through E0694 which are the HCPCS codes used by insurance firms for UV Phototherapy Products used in the home.
They seem to be quite emphatic.
All I can say is that this is a huge step backwards for folks with Vitiligo. Their earlier policy’s did cover Vitiligo!