A federal judge approved Cigna Corp.'s plan to pay $19 million to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of 210,000 acupuncturists, chiropractors, podiatrists and other specialty providers who claim they were shortchanged by the nation's largest health insurers.
Under the deal, proposed in December 2004, Philadelphia-based Cigna will create an $11.6 million fund to compensate providers, cover $7.5 million in plaintiffs' attorney fees and improve claims handling. The company did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, which was approved by U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in Miami.
Cigna is the first insurer to announce a settlement with specialty providers in class-action litigation against the nation's leading managed-care companies. Last year, Aetna and Cigna agreed to spend $470 million and $540 million, respectively, to settle similar charges on behalf of 900,000 physicians.