- Consumer Watchdog on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Cigna of discriminating against people with HIV and AIDS and violating federal health law by requiring patients to get medication from its mail-order pharmacy. Cigna has not commented.
- According to the consumer rights group, Cigna's policy violates the Affordable Care Act because it discourages patients with HIV and AIDS from choosing Cigna's insurance plan by making it tough to acquire needed drugs. Those that don't get their drugs through the mail must pay full price.
- The group also says that drugs sent through the mail might not arrive on time or at the appropriate address, meaning that patients risk not receiving their meds on time. It also says that mail-order programs prevent patients from interacting face-to-face with a pharmacist and puts patient privacy at risk.
"What's the good of an insurance policy if you can't get the medications you need to stay alive when you need them or are forced to risk your health and privacy to use it?" Consumer Watchdog attorney Jerry Flanagan said.
This isn't the first suit of its kind. Consumer Watchdog also filed a similar suit against Aetna last year. The group also said that it settled two suits with United Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross that allowed HIV and AIDS patients to opt out of mail-order programs.