Cigna Corp. warned today that it will probably have to sit out the coming Medicare plan sales season.
Cigna said, in a notice filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, that it’s still working with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to address audit findings that led to a Medicare plan sales ban.
“Cigna expects that these matters will not be resolved in time to participate in the 2017 Medicare Advantage and Part D annual enrollment period,” Cigna said in the notice.
The Bloomfield, Connecticut-based insurer now provides Medicare Part D drug coverage for about 1 million of the 18 million people who have Part D coverage, and about 550,000 of the 14 million people who have Medicare Advantage plan coverage.
In January, CMS accused Cigna of running its Medicare plans in a way that threatened enrollees’ access to care. CMS prohibited Cigna from selling new Medicare plans, but Cigna could continue to cover the people in the Medicare plans it had already sold.
Since January, Cigna has been unable to sell coverage to people who turned 65 and became eligible for seven-month initial enrollment periods. But the company was hoping to get out from under the sales ban in time for the 2017 annual open enrollment period, which gives enrollees a chance to change plans.
The 2017 Medicare plan annual enrollment period is set to run from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.