Is APWU Part of Cigna?

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Health Plan provides comprehensive health insurance benefits to postal workers and federal employees. While it was formerly part of the Cigna network, the APWU Health Plan now uses UnitedHealthcare as its nationwide provider network.

Overview of APWU Health Plan

  • Non-profit health insurance plan exclusively for postal employees and retirees.

  • Sponsored by the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO.

  • Provides High Option and Consumer Driven Option plans.

  • Over 200,000 members nationwide.

  • Medicare Advantage plans also available for retirees.

  • Governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the APWU.

  • Has offered affordable coverage since 1960.

Previous Relationship with Cigna Network

Prior to 2023, the APWU Health Plan utilized Cigna as its contracted nationwide provider network. Key aspects included:

  • Cigna Healthcare was the in-network provider from 2012 to 2022.

  • Replaced UnitedHealthcare, who was the network from 2009 to 2011.

  • Members had access to Cigna’s extensive network of doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers.

  • No referrals needed to see specialists within the Cigna network.

  • Virtual visit options were available through MDLIVE.

  • Cigna’s network also serviced the APWU Consumer Driven health plan.

Current UnitedHealthcare Network

Starting in 2023, the APWU Health Plan adopted UnitedHealthcare as its new provider network covering all 50 states. Key features include:

  • 3-year contract between APWU Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare signed in 2022.

  • UnitedHealthcare network includes 1.7+ million providers and 7,000 hospitals.

  • Gives access to one of the largest national networks in the country.

  • Enables keeping premiums affordable through greater pricing leverage.

  • Includes convenient virtual visit options powered by Teladoc®.

  • UnitedHealthcare administers claims processing and other servicing.

  • Same extensive network is offered under High Option and Consumer Driven plans.

Reasons for Network Switch

There were a few key reasons why the APWU Health Plan made the provider network change:

  • Competitive Pricing – UnitedHealthcare enabled keeping premiums affordable through competitive pricing.

  • Network Breadth – With 1.7+ million providers, UnitedHealthcare offered one of the most extensive networks in the country.

  • Virtual Visits – UnitedHealthcare provided access to virtual visits through Teladoc® vs. MDLIVE.

  • Enhanced Benefits – New ancillary benefits like fertility treatment coverage and hearing aids were introduced.

  • Renewed Focus – The change allowed a renewed strategic focus on the unique needs of APWU members.

Impact on APWU Health Plan Members

The transition from Cigna to UnitedHealthcare impacted members in the following ways:

  • Providers covered under Cigna network needed to be checked for inclusion in new UnitedHealthcare network.

  • Member ID cards were replaced with new cards showing UnitedHealthcare information.

  • Virtual visits moved from MDLIVE to Teladoc® under UnitedHealthcare.

  • Customer service, claims processing and other services handled by UnitedHealthcare now.

  • Materials and communication reflected UnitedHealthcare partnership after transition.

  • Overall, minimal disruption was experienced by majority of members through the network change.

Does APWU Health Plan Still Cover Cigna Providers?

With the shift to UnitedHealthcare’s network, APWU Health Plan members no longer have in-network access to Cigna’s providers except in very limited cases.

A Cigna provider may still be covered in the following select scenarios:

  • Providers contracted with both Cigna and UnitedHealthcare networks.

  • Cigna providers eligible for reciprocity if UnitedHealthcare is not available in a certain geographic area.

  • Cigna providers qualifying as out-of-network providers subject to deductibles and balance billing.

Overall, Cigna providers are largely out-of-network for APWU members starting 2023 unless special circumstances allow temporary reciprocity. Members need to verify provider participation in UnitedHealthcare’s network to get in-network benefits.

Can APWU Members Still Use Cigna’s Pharmacies?

Prescription coverage is not impacted by the network switch. The APWU Health Plan’s pharmacy benefits manager is Express Scripts.

For retail prescription pickups, APWU members can continue using any Express Scripts network pharmacies regardless of network change. This includes major chains like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid etc. that participate in Express Scripts’ broad pharmacy network.

So members can fill prescriptions at Cigna-owned pharmacies like CVS as they remain in-network for pharmacy benefits under Express Scripts. Only medical providers contracted under Cigna Healthcare are out of network now.

Key Takeaways

  • The APWU Health Plan previously used Cigna as its contracted provider network from 2012 to 2022.

  • Starting 2023, UnitedHealthcare is the new in-network provider after being awarded the contract by APWU Health Plan.

  • The change to UnitedHealthcare’s extensive network gives APWU members more choices and affordable premiums.

  • Cigna providers are mostly out-of-network now except in certain limited cases. Members need to check UnitedHealthcare participation.

  • Pharmacy benefits through Express Scripts are unchanged. Cigna-owned pharmacies remain in-network for prescriptions.

  • Overall, the transition aimed to provide continued robust benefits for APWU members through a new partnership.

While APWU Health Plan was associated with Cigna for many years, the recent shift to UnitedHealthcare opens new avenues for coverage. Members need to check provider listings and get new ID cards to make the most of the change and get full in-network benefits under the new enhanced partnership.

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What insurance company is APWU?

Whichever APWU Health Plan you choose, you can access care from the extensive nationwide UnitedHealthcare network—and no referrals are needed.

What is the phone number for Cigna APWU?

call 1-800-222-APWU (2798).

Is APWU a PPO or HMO health plan?

APWU Health Plan Is a National PPO Offering Both a High Option and a Consumer Driven Option Health Plan to Federal Employees.

Is APWU a Medicare plan?

APWU Health Plan offers a Medicare Advantage plan for High Option members. The good news: As an APWU Health Plan member, there is no need for you to enroll in Medicare Part D.

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