Grandma’s Plea: Cigna has put our 2-year-old grandchild through insurance hell

Read Part I of Jasmine’s story here.

My beautiful granddaughter, Jasmine, was born with half-a-heart.

Jasmine’s mom has written about the ongoing fight with Cigna to obtain the right treatment. As Jasmine’s grandmother, I just have to share the past hell Cigna has put our family through.

When Jasmine came home from the hospital, she needed to be fed through a feeding tube. Cigna wouldn’t provide it for weeks. Finally, I contacted the Department of Managed Care in the middle of the night, and they immediately contacted the Department of Insurance, which ordered them to go to a hospital and find them.

Even now, I ask, “Why? What was the reason for the delay?”

I found the equipment available within three miles of Jasmine’s home, but they would not sell them to me because we had insurance. Was Cigna actually trying to kill this child? She needed the feeding tubes to live. Cigna had to understand why it was so important to get her this medical equipment right away.

One delay — maybe that’s a mistake. But, it was the same runaround when Jasmine was prescribed an oxygen monitor. Cigna didn’t provide it either. As a result, my daughter had to drag around 50-pounds of medical equipment — while she was caring for Jasmine and fighting with Cigna on a daily basis. Again, we had to get the Department of Insurance involved in order to obtain the proper equipment. The agency helped us, but it took more than a month to get everything resolved.

In fact, a Cigna representative called the heart specialist and asked if they could send my daughter to Babies”R”Us to buy one. The doctor laughed at them, and told them they need to ship the proper equipment.

Next, there was the battle for feeding and physical therapy, which was prescribed when Jasmine left the hospital. Cigna told my daughter that she would have to travel 360 miles round-trip to San Diego to get the therapy.

360 miles. 3x per week.

How exactly do they expect us to accomplish this 1,000-mile weekly journey with a baby that’s aspirating 50 times per day. In the expert opinion of the therapist, Jasmine needs to receive these therapies in her home. If she aspirated on a long trip, or stuck in traffic, she could choke and die. Once again, I did the research and found therapy available three miles from Jasmine’s home. The Department of Insurance ordered Cigna to get this underway, and provide it in the home.

This isn’t right. Cigna receives insurance premiums every month, and they respond by putting Jasmine through hell.

Cigna must be held accountable for everything they have done and are doing to our family.

You’ll receive updates about new resources, patient stories and insights, advocacy work, and alerts about patient-support events.