Insurance issue complicates plan shortage for Phoenix family

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Brayden Perry is eight years old. Her sister Sydney is five years old. The Phoenix siblings both have a pediatric eating disorder and are dependent on prescription formula. “Brayden is 100% formula fed,” said his father, Brandt Perry. “There are no other food options. That’s all he has.

The massive recall that crippled the nation’s formula supply had a very real and immediate impact on the Perry family. “We’ve lost quite a few cases,” said Kyra Perry, the children’s mother. “We’ve been counting down exactly how many days we have, and it’s nerve-wracking to know that at some point we might run out of the formula we need for our kids.”

To complicate matters, the family’s health insurance changed, and for months they struggled to get Cigna to approve coverage for the children’s prescription formula and g-tube supplies.

“We’ve just been in this continuous loop with them, going around in circles and going nowhere,” Kyra said. Due to the continued shortage of formula, the Perrys say suppliers are not taking on new customers, threatening Brayden and Sydney’s access to formula, even after production ramps up and supplies return to low levels. stable.

“We’re not approved, so we’re not an existing customer, so we’re basically back of the line. When we can get approval, then we can say, ‘Okay, we’re placing orders’, but we’ll be behind existing customers,” Brant added. This has forced them to find alternatives, often relying on donations from other local families who no longer need this type of formula. Some products have recently expired. “It got us through it,” Kyra said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have enough formula to feed our kids.”

On Your Side contacted Cigna. Almost immediately, the insurance company assigned a case manager to work with the Perrys. They were told their insurance plan would cover the formula, and Cigna is working with a distributor to make sure Brayden and Sydney get the formula they need. “Finally, after six months, we can breathe a little sigh of relief,” Kyra said.

In a statement, a Cigna spokesperson told On Your Side, “We want our customers to be able to focus on what matters most: their health and their families, which is why we’ve been working quickly to resolve this. problem”.

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