In Dec we always leave the country to our home in Mexico for 6 months. We are planning to leave the first of Dec. this year. Knowing this I went to talk to the lady at my Pharmacy that helped me last year to insure we had an early enough start to get the override for the medication. (majority of the prescriptions are for my heart problems) On 11-03-15 this was done. The pharmacy tech came back shaking her head and you will need to fax them an itinerary in order to get the override. I had never had to deal directly with any drug plan that I have ever had and agreed reluctantly to send them an itinerary. When asked what the company wanted for an itinerary, the tech replied that I would need to call Cigna to find out what they expected in the itinerary for the override and how detailed it needed to be. The tech realized that we drive in our home in Mexico each year and we joked about writing every little detail of the trip down.
The next morning, Nov4th a call was made to Cigna at 6:42 am. The cust. serv. rep (Cheryl) stated that she would be glad to help. The question given to her was, "how much detail does Cigna need for the itinerary to receive prescription override?" She stated that she would put me on hold and transfer me to someone that could help with this question.
Person #2 Cheryl transferred me to Shauna. Shauna was asked, "how much detail does Cigna need for the itinerary to receive prescription override?" It was explained to Shawn that my Pharmacy had spoken with Cigna the day before and told by Cigna that a itinerary was needed to get an override so that there would be no break in my medication. Shawna replied, "Mr Anderson you do not need an itinerary or an override. You need to talk with home delivery for your medications." I was on speaker phone and my wife thought this was so funny. After explaining to Shawna that we were going to our other home in Mexico for 6 months and that as far as I know no one that I know was getting there medications delivered to them from an insurance company. She was also just told flat out that Cigna does not do home delivery in Mexico. She was adamant that Cigna did and put me on hold to transfer me to the Home Delivery Department. Person #3 Chicobe. It was explained to her that all I wanted to know was what was expected and how detailed the itinerary for the override needed to be.
She informed me that she did not understand why the call was transferred to her as her department had nothing to do with the insurance end of Cigna, they were the Pharmacy. Chicobe was asked if her department delivered drugs to Mexico. Her reply was of course not.
Chicobe said that she would be happy to transfer me back to the customer service dept. It was agreed to do that and only speak with a supervisor in that department. She thought that was a good idea as well.
Person #4 Christine. It was explained to Christine that the question that I had was
"how much detail does Cigna need for the itinerary to receive prescription override to obtain more than 90 days of medication." Her reply was that there is not a way to receive more than 90 days of medication and that she had never heard of receiving any more. It was explained to her that this was done last year under the same circumstances and that if she did not beleive me that she could call my Pharmacy and speak directly with the Pharmacist. She said that she would do that. The pharmacy telephone # was given to her and I was put on hold.
When she came back on the line she was asked if she spoke with the pharmacist. Yes she said. I asked her what the pharmacist told her and she said that he told her that last year about this time prescriptions were given to me for 6 months. At this point she stated but now we cannot do that. She was asked why? Because of the Medicare, Medicaid government center will not allow it. She was told that I did not believe that was true. She said this is what she heard from the other Cigna employees
She was asked if she would give me her extension so I could call her back after I called Medicare services. She gave me her extension #. At 1 hour and 47 minutes into the call asking Customer Service Dept at Cigna about an itinerary this is where I was at.
At 8:35 am 11-04-15 Medicare was called. Tamara asked if she could help. She was asked if Medicare-Medicare had a policy that no more than 90 days of pharmaceutical drugs could be given out by the Cigna insurance plan D. She replied that no, if a person goes out of the country there are ways that their medications can be given. She put me on hold, coming back she said there are ways to receive the medications involving the Dr., Pharmacy and the insurance company. I told here that my pharmacy was told that I would need an override obtained according to Cigna on the 3rd of Nov. A itinerary would also be needed from by myself to Cigna to obtain that override. It was explained to Tamara that is initially what I was calling Cigna about in the first place, the itinerary that Cigna said was needed for the override. Now Cigna was saying that no more than 90 days of prescription medication is given based on the policy established by Medicare-Medicare.
After 32 minutes the call ended with Tamara from Medicare Services.
At 9:08 am Christine was called back and informed that what she told me was not factual. She apologized and said that is what was told by others at Cigna to say. I was put on hold again and when Christine came back on the line she stated that yes, more than 90 days of medication can be received.
OK we are getting somewhere. She said that my Physicians would need to fax a letter to Cigna explaining why more than 90 days of medications were needed by me when I am out of the country for 6 months. It was explained to her that I would gladly do this. At this point once again the initial subject of the itinerary was brought up by myself. Her reply was that the itenerary only needed to have my departure date and my return date on it. I told here I already had the fax number that was given to my pharmacy yesterday for the override. Oh Mr Anderson, Christine replied we are no longer treating this as an override. It is a coverage determination. She then gave me the fax # for the coverage determination department. The call ended at 47 minutes.
20 minutes was spent calling my primary care physician and my cardiologist. Christine made it clear that the Doctors needed to sign the fax that told Cigna why I would need more than 90 days of medication while spending 6 months in Mexico. There was some humor made out of this request by both offices. But both said that they would do this.
Less than a half hour later the cardiologist office called after calling Cigna. The office manager told me that what I was told by Christine is not what Cigna needs for me to obtain my medication for more than 90 days. I was out walking my dog when I received this call trying to clear my head from all of the runaround Cigna had given me. I was also thinking that all was in order now. During the call from the Cardiologist office it was mentioned that once again my blood pressure was sky high. I could tell.
When I got back home my feelings about my BP was proven correct with a diastolic reading of 107
the first time my diastolic BP had ever been over 100 as far as I know. It is usually under 80.
OK I am into the question about the itinerary over 2 hours of phone time now and I call back Christine at Cigna. At 12:00 Christine was called back at Cigna. She was told what the cardiologist office had told me after they had called Cigna. Christine was told that I was getting very frustrated and my BP was high and that I wanted to speak with her supervisor. I was placed on hold.
Person #6 Nina. She said she was sorry about the trouble that I was having to get an answer about the itinerary. Nina was told that for over 3 hours Cigna had done nothing but give me misleading information and that few employees at customer service seemed to know what their job was about.
Once again she apologized and tried to make me believe that this time everything was going to go right. I told her at this point I felt it was unlikely if Cigna was involved in any way.
Nina stated that this was an override situation cut and dried. OK, it was asked how detailed of an itinerary was needed for the override? She said she did not know but would find out. I was placed on hold. When she came back, she said an itinerary was not needed and that I was to go to the pharmacy on the 24th of Nov and get my prescriptions filled. Then go again on the 30th and try to get the prescriptions filled again. She said it would be denied and that the pharmacist would have to apply for the override and that they might need proof that I was going to be in Mexico. She was asked if she thought if Electric and Telephone bills from Mexico would work. She thought so. She said I should give these to the Pharmacist if he was asked for them he could fax them to Cigna. It was explained to her that departure was going to be on the 1st of Dec, one day later than getting the prescription. She was asked if the override could be done sooner.
Here is the reply she gave me. She had spoken with a pharmacy tech, the tech stated that the longer the time waited the better chances that an override would be given.
Here we go again I thought.
It was mentioned that in the first minutes speaking with her she said that she was aware that Cigna gave override to people under these types of situations.
She said the pharmacy tech does not make the determination. Someone above her does and a decision to give out an override would be based on oversight of this person.
I explain to here that I am very busy planning the drive and loading all of the things that are involved with moving. She said she realized this and she also mentioned that it wa the Thanksgiving weekend to the tech. The tech held their ground and said there would be a better chance of receiving the override if it was applied for on the 30th of Nov.
There are several pages more of more misrepresentation and misdirection regarding this matter on the following day. When I am rested I may post this experience as well.
I really hope someone from Cigna reads this and tries to discredit me. All they would need to do is listen to the recordings of these interactions and realize that I have been conservative in my description of what transpired with Cigna Customer Care Department.
Product or Service Mentioned: Cigna Prescription Refill.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Cigna Cons: Terrible customer service, Lack of customer support.