The family of Nataline Sarkisyan is planning to sue Cigna HealthCare for the murder of their daughter. Despite Nataline being fully insured and having a matching donor ready, Cigna refused to pay for her liver transplant on the grounds that her healthcare plan “does not cover experimental, investigational, and unproven services.”
Nataline’s doctors at the UCLA medical center protested against Cigna that the treatment was neither experimental nor unproven. Days later, after mounting a 150 person protest outside of Cigna’s office they reversed the decision but it was already too late for Nataline.
Charles Idelson of the California Nurses Association commented, “Why did it take public humiliation for a multi-billion dollar insurance company to force them to provide appropriate medical care? This is what’s wrong with our health system – insurers decide treatment, not doctors.”
Cigna profit was up 22% in its third quarter performance this year. It expects to earn an income of about $1.2 billion next year. Now we know how.