CIGNA Corporation Complaint - CIGNA: Using your private medical information
EDEN PRAIRIE, MINNESOTA -- I'm have been on Cigna as insurance for 8 months. I have been with the same therapist for many years, using the insurance plans offered through the companies I've worked for. I suffer from mild depression and working with a therapist has helped my quality of life immensely. I recently received something in the mail from Cigna. A letter that begins: "Have you recently experienced trouble concentrating or sleeping? Are you feeling overwhelmed, anxious or withdrawn, or having difficulty adjusting to a major life change? Did you know there's a free service through your medical benefits that can help you manage your symptoms? Recently, a claim we received from either your doctor or pharmacy, or information from a health assessment you completed, has helped us identify you as someone who may benefit from this program."
I am feeling completely violated by this. I have never had an insurance company feel they were entitled to step in and comment on my private health information or assume they were qualified to inject one of their staff into my life to comment on personal health issues. It's like a new level of intrusion. How could this possibly be in compliance with HIPAA?
My expectation is that an insurance company can approve or deny claims, not that they can administer care or provide health care advice. Cigna has taken my health care information--either privileged information that I share with my doctor or specifics of medications that I have been prescribed, and run it through a marketing program that would identify me as someone they could put into a bucket for solicitation about a mental health "coaching product" they offer.
I'll be taking this up with my doctor as well as the attorney general about privacy and legality. I can't just let this end with Cigna pushing the envelope with methods that are intended to intimidate patients into ending medical care that is of a highly private nature. I'm sure it would be quite convenient if Cigna could get me to end my therapy with a qualified physician with whom I've been working for years, and call their free "phone coach" for therapy instead, but this is totally unacceptable to me.
I don't want Cigna to monitor my private health care and diagnoses and offer me tailored marketing based on their business objectives. I pay my premiums, percentages and copays and am entitled to proper medical care. So I have two choices: 1. End my care so that they no longer have access to my private health care information and diagnoses, or 2. Fight back and tell Cigna that I don't want them using my private health care information and diagnoses for anything other than a yes/no vote in their claims system. Knowing that my disapproval with their policy won't be enough to bring about change, I have no choice but to bring this issue to a wider audience.