URBANA — State employees and others who get their health insurance through Cigna once again have coverage at Carle Physician Group and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center.
Both Carle Physician Group and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center have joined Carle Foundation Hospital as in-network providers for Cigna, according to Carle.
Cigna members had been accessing Carle and Carle Hoopeston providers through HealthLink and Private HealthCare Systems networks, but Cigna ended those relationships at the end of last year.
The new contract, signed Friday, is effective retroactive to Jan. 1, and the health services Cigna members got through Carle Physician Group and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center between Jan. 1 and Friday will be covered by Cigna at in-network rates, according to Carle.
Cigna, which administers the Quality Care health plan for state employees, had a direct agreement with HealthLink since 2006 that allowed its members to access HealthLink's network of participating providers, among them Carle.
Statewide, there are 111,875 people enrolled in the Quality Care health plan through the four different group insurance programs administered by the state, according to state Department of Central Management Services spokesman Mike Claffey.
Nothing will change in Cigna members' underlying benefits now that Cigna is contracting directly with Carle, according to Cigna spokeswoman Amy Turkington.
However, she said in an email, "having a direct contract allows us to work directly with health care professionals and customers in the area for our quality and consumer engagement programs — for example, our online cost and quality information tools that provide individuals with real-time information, specific to their plan, about the quality and the actual costs of health care."
The new Cigna/Carle agreement is for one year, and it automatically renews after that, Turkington said.
Cigna customers who have questions can call the customer service department 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the number on their insurance ID cards, she said.