TALLAHASSEE, FL (November 11, 2014) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today applauded and thanked Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty for brokering an agreement with Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Cigna) through which the insurer will now take steps to ensure that Florida residents living with HIV/AIDS and who are covered by Cigna will have access to the lifesaving medications they need as provided through Chapter 627.429, Florida Statutes.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) was recently made aware of allegations that some health insurers—including Cigna—may have been violating this statute by placing all HIV/AIDS medications in the highest tier of their drug formulary, requiring prior authorizations to fill prescriptions, and implementing unnecessary and discriminatory step protocols.
On Friday, Commissioner McCarty and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced that it had reached an agreement with Cigna to halt the practice.
This is the first such agreement on HIV/AIDS drug pricing and policies between Florida an insurer.
“I appreciate Cigna taking proactive steps to address these allegations,” Commissioner McCarty said Friday in a statement announcing the agreement. “I am committed to making sure that insurers are not acting in a manner that is discriminatory and inconsistent with Florida law and today’s announcement shows that Cigna is committed to those principles as well.”
“We at AIDS Healthcare Foundation applaud the Commissioner for his actions and for his attentiveness to this issue of medication access for persons living with HIV disease in Florida, during a time when consumers—especially those with HIV disease—are confronted with a significantly shifting and confusing payer landscape,” said Michael Kahane, Southern Bureau Chief for AHF. “Although treatments for HIV disease are simpler and more efficacious than ever, the disease itself can be just as complex as ever to manage. Adherence to treatment is critical to a favorable health outcome and it not only helps the patient, but also helps the overall public health as well via what is known as ‘treatment is prevention.’ As described in the consent order (see web link below) we look forward to being at the table with Cigna and other insurers to discuss what is absolutely needed and in the best interest of all persons living with HIV disease in Florida and the rest of the world. Unfettered access to care and treatment is essential.”
A copy of the order may be found at: http://www.floir.com/siteDocuments/Cigna162232-14-CO.pdf