Patients across eastern Carolina who have CIGNA Healthcare may have to pay more to see ECU Physicians.
ECU Physicians says after more than a year of contract negotiations and extensions, CIGNA has notified the Brody School of Medicine that the company will not renew its contract when the current one expires at the end of this year. This change will affect approximately 5,400 patients.
Dr. Nicholas Benson, vice dean of the medical school and acting medical director for ECU Physicians, says the decision is an unfortunate outcome of the months of negotiating and work on both sides. Benson said, "While we certainly wanted to avoid any inconvenience to our patients, it would be financially irresponsible of ECU Physicians to accept the below-market rates from CIGNA at this time. ECU Physicians values its longstanding relationship with CIGNA and we hope our patients will be welcomed back into their network in the future."
Patients of ECU Physicians who have CIGNA health insurance will still be able to receive care; however, an additional charge may be assessed since the physicians will now be out-of-network.
CIGNA enrollees in the area include the city of Greenville and several smaller employers in the region.