CIGNA Corporation Complaint - Took Money from our HSA, Didn't Pay Vendor, Won't return our Money
In short (full details are below) Cigna debited our HSA account to pay claims in the total amount of $1566 in mid-February and March 1st of this year. They did not, however, pay those claims, and have admitted to this fact. It is now May 17th. The money has been gone from our HSA account for 2.5 - 3 months. Instead of simply crediting us the $1566 that they took so that we can pay our outstanding medical bills, they are 'investigating' what they did with the funds. They will give me no date by which our funds will be returned.
The nitty gritty details:
My husband's employer began using Cigna as a health insurance provider in 2011. We also have an HSA for the first time this year.
In mid-February I had 2 claims, one on 2-15, the other on 2-17. Our deductible had not yet been met so both of the claims were sent to our HSA account for automatic payment. At total of $1,566.07 was deducted from our HSA account for payment to the providers.
In early March I was told by one provider that they hadn't received payment and were trying to work with Cigna in order to verify an EFT payment. In late April I received a bill from the other provider showing no payment had been received by them either.
I called Cigna on 4-27 and was told by Consuela that they were working with the first provider (I'll call them Provider A) to track down the payment. Provider A, I was told, was being connected with a Cigna online business site that would allow the provider to track down all necessary information themselves.
Re the payment to provider B, I was told that an EFT payment had been made and was transferred to Chase (who runs the HSA) for further information. Chase informed me that everything Consuela had just told me was incorrect and that once Cigna debits my HSA account Chase can no longer see what happened to the funds.
So I called Cigna back and talked to Yolanda. She supposedly put in a request to get information as to how payment was made to Vendor B. She said that she hoped to get a response that day, or the next day at the latest, and would call me the following day with news.
Yolanda did not call me back so on the afternoon of 4-28 I called Cigna and this time spoke with Ray Lynn. She could see Yolanda's inquiry but said it looked as if it went to the wrong department. She said that she would put in a new request for tracking and would call me back on Sunday or Monday. She did not call me back.
I called Cigna again on 5-1 and spoke with Elia who sent me to Mandy who, before I could stop her, sent me to Chase where I was told the same thing I was told before--Chase can't help me once Cigna debits my account.
SO, I called back to Cigna again and spoke with Julie. She said that she could not see a payment being made in her system and that 'we are waiting to hear from that department'. I was supremely frustrated at this point and asked for a supervisor.
I was given to a supervisor named Jeff Ellison. He said that he would find out if funds were paid to vendor B. If not, the funds that were taken from my account would be credited. If a payment had been made he would get me the check clearing info. I thought...finally, I'm getting somewhere...but I was wrong.
When I spoke with Jeff Ellison again on 5-4 he said that he could not find any record of payment having been made to Vendor B. He said that he would update the service request so that the money would be credited back to my HSA. He said that he would have verification within 24-48 hours and would call me back by that Friday, May 6th.
Jeff didn't call me on Friday the 6th or Monday the 9th. I left him a voice mail on the 10th and on the 11th. Late in the afternoon of the 11th I got a call from Julie (apparently calling instead of Jeff). She told me that the payment matter was still under investigation. Cigna did take the money from my HSA and did not pay the provider, but that Cigna couldn't figure out where the money went. 'When the mystery is solved we will credit your account'. At this point I was fuming. I explained that I didn't care what Cigna had done with the money or that they needed to figure out the glitch in their system. They admitted to having withdrawn money from my account and having not paid the vendor. There is no reason for further delay, I said, pay me back! She was so sorry, she said, but they were 'working' on it and she couldn't give me a date by which I would be credited.
On 5-16 I touched base with Vendor A to see if their payment issue had been solved. Big surprise, it had not. they had gotten online with Cigna's Business Services site but all the information that they could see was 'payment was made on X date'. No payment details or an audit to show which account the payment went into. As the provider said, "Cigna has been less than helpful."
I tried to reach Jeff Ellison again and could not--only voice mail. So I called the main number and asked to speak to another supervisor. I was transferred to Gracie Lewis. She listened to my story with a mixture of horror and disbelief. She kept saying, "that just doesn't sound right that we would have taken money out of your account, not paid the vendor and drug our feet in returning your money." She apologized for Cigna's behaviour and said that she would do some research, get things straightened out and call me the next morning.
5-17: Gracie didn't call me this morning. I called her and she returned my call. She said that she is working with the client service partner (my husband's employer?) and her financial services department. It is confirmed that no check went out to Vendor B...yet, she cannot tell me when I will have my money back.
I explained to her that, in my eyes, Cigna's actions translate to theft and said that if any banking institution took $1566.09 from my checking account and refused to return it I would have solid grounds for legal action--same here--and I'm considering it.
She said that she was working really hard to get this resolved...blah, blah, blah. I explained that I had gotten that same story from every person I have talked to over the previous 3 weeks and that as 'hard as everyone is working on it' nothing is being done. She said that she 'escalated' the matter to a higher level. I asked if she was the first person to 'escalate' the situation and she said yes. If this is true, it's a clear sign of how terrible Cigna's customer service is. This should have been elevated to a high priority situation on 4-27 and should have been resolved within a couple of days. Instead, the issue was passed around and ignored. I'm not hopeful that dealing with Gracie will be any different. I told her that I read Cigna's Ethics Policy online and got a huge laugh about their dedication to 'fair treatment of customers' HA! I have never been treated so poorly by any company in my life. Frankly, never imagined that treatment like this was possible.
NOTE: I asked what was happening with the payment to Vendor A. She said the investigation is currently on hold until the matter with Vendor B is solved...assuming Vendor B issue is solved they will use the same template to solve problem with Vendor A. Again...ridiculous...as if everything at Cigna were being done by hand with pen and paper in a back room. If they can't work on issues simultaneously they are operating in the dark ages. IMO, they are simply not in a hurry to refund my money because...they don't have to be. And that's what makes me the most angry. We are financially well off, but I know that this kind of gross incompetence could wreck some families with big medical bills and shaky credit. Absolutely, totally and completely disgusted with Cigna.
The consequences of this clustered mess is that we have medical bills that are due...and in some instances past due...that we will either need to pay for out of pocket (and therefore lose the advantage of paying with pre-tax dollars with funds from our HSA) or risk having damage done to our credit...all because Cigna has taken our money and refused to return it.
If anyone out there in HR is considering using Cigna, I can say loudly and clearly RUN THE OTHER WAY if you value your employees, their time and their sanity.