Earlier this month, Tennessee’s Hamilton County commissioners said that while they like saving money like every other elected body, they weren’t so sure about saying yes to Cigna’s offer to let them save $1 million a year just by switching to their insurance company.
The commissioners of Hamilton County are deciding whether to hire Cigna as their insurance company instead of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. BlueCross has been the company that has held the contract to administer the county’s insurance since 2003. Coincidentally, back then they were using Cigna and switched to BlueCross. This is Cigna’s second attempt to get the commissioners to return. They tried to get the county’s business back in 2006 by offering them the chance to save anywhere from $800,000 to $1 million, but the commissioners didn’t bite and instead renewed with BlueCross.
However, Cigna may have a better chance to get their business back since the county is set to lose $10.5 million in revenue due to the end of a sales tax agreement with Chattanooga. At this point, the county’s leaders are more than willing to consider savings any place that they can find them.
Mayor Jim Coppinger says, “We’ve had experiences with Cigna I’m confident have been resolved. Nevertheless, a lot of employees are going to be concerned when we go back to Cigna. Compared to BlueCross we feel the difference in the proposals will create $1 million in savings.”
Commission Chairman Larry Henry stated that the employees’ costs aren’t going to change at all should the county switch insurance companies to Cigna. However, Brent Wick, Cigna vice president of sales, as well as the New Business Manager Brenton Johnson attended the commission meeting Thursday in an effort to address the commissioners’ worries. Johnson explained to the commissioners that the primary focus would be to make county employees healthier so that they wouldn’t have so many claims.
One commissioner, Greg Beck, was not happy about the idea of the switch. Beck stated he had some problems with Cigna in the past, but he didn’t specify. However, he did say, “My family had a bad experience. It was really horrible. I’m just wondering if the claims are going to be better this time.”
Wick tried to help Beck with his fears by saying that Cigna was improving its service to customers.
“We invested a significant amount of money to our claim call centers to drive our service levels to where they’re at today,” Wick added.
Cigna has been fighting various lawsuits in court over plaintiff claims of bad faith practices. The company has been accused of terminating benefits and even of denying legitimate claims. If you have had a claim denied by Cigna, contact Greg Jones today for a free consultation.