New Cigna plan to promote medication compliance

Cigna Pharmacy Management has launched new preventive prescription drug plan options intended to promote medication compliance by providing a higher level of benefits coverage to employees who need certain medications to prevent illness or address specified chronic health care conditions.

One option allows employers to waive the plan deductible for more than 700 standardly covered preventive prescription drugs. Members would be covered for the medications according to the pharmacy plan's coinsurance or copayment requirements, without first having to satisfy a plan deductible. Employers also have the option to purchase additional coverage to include medications for tobacco cessation, weight loss, and nutritional deficiency.

A second option allows plan sponsors offering Cigna Choice Fund consumer-driven plans to provide this higher level of coverage as an incentive to encourage employees with diabetes, cardiac conditions, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to actively participate in a disease management program offered as part of the employer's health plan.

"Preventive drug benefit designs will raise consumer awareness and highlight the importance of using needed prescription medications," said Cigna Pharmacy Management chief pharmacy officer Thom Stambaugh. "The new benefit options will also help members maximize Cigna's highly regarded medical and pharmacy clinical programs that help to improve health and reduce costs for both our members and employers.

Medical conditions for which medication therapy is considered preventive include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, stroke prevention, pregnancy and prenatal nutrient deficiency. "The effects of many of these conditions, if poorly managed, are costly in both human and financial terms," Mr. Stambaugh said. "Cigna Pharmacy Management's preventive medication benefit program will connect consumers with the resources to more effectively manage their conditions."