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Mission Health Strikes Deal With Cigna Insurance Before Deadline

Photo courtesy of HCA Healthcare
Mission Health and health insurance company Cigna agreed to a deal on October 30th. Pictured is the new North Tower at Mission Health in Asheville, NC.

Mission Health reached a deal with health insurer Cigna before their contract lapsed. 

The Asheville hospital system reach a deal with the insurance company on October 30, just shy of the November 1 deadline. 

The multi-year agreement ensures that all Cigna patients will remain in-network. This deal covers Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare, which includes the surrounding five rural hospitals. Only Mission Hospital was in danger of going out of network.

Negotiations for the deal were announced at the beginning of October, according to the Asheville Citizen Times. 

A joint press release from the two organizations explains: 

“Both Mission Health and Cigna are pleased to reach agreement on the mutual goal of ensuring that the people of Western North Carolina have access to the affordable, quality healthcare they need.” 

Negotiations between hospitals and insurance companies are a scary fact of life for patients. 

In 2017, Mission Health was out of network with Blue Cross Blue Shield for just over 3 monthsafter their contract lapsed and a deal could not be reached. 

In April, Duke LifePoint Hospitals in Jackson, Haywood and Swain counties were out of network with UnitedHealthcare for about 4 months while the organizations negotiated for a new contract.

The entire Mission Health system waspurchased in February by HCA Healthcare for $1.5 billion dollars. 

Updated November 1 to clarify that only Mission Hospital had the potential of going out of network. The deal does not impact the other parts of Mission Health. 

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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