Does Cigna cover the Nuss Procedure?

By | January 14, 2015

Cigna insurance does in fact cover the Nuss Procedure. However, you must meet the below criteria.

  • Haller index must be greater than 3.25 AND any of the below
    • pulmonary function studies indicate restrictive airway
    • echocardiography shows external compression
    • abnormal exercise tolerance is shown with cardiopulmonary exercise testing

Note that with Cigna, chest wall deformity corrective procedures are normally not covered when “performed solely for the purpose of improving or altering appearance or self-esteem or to treat psychological symptomatology or psychosocial complaints related to one’s appearance.”

One additional note: in my personal experience, I was able to get coverage through Cigna for my Nuss Procedure without having explicit any of those 3 exams indicating physiological problems (because my functional exams always seemed to be nonconclusive). In my case, my physician simply wrote a note and argued that my symptoms – exercise intolerance, palpitations, arrhythmia, chest pain, etc – indicated that surgery would be for medical reasons, not cosmetic reasons. Don’t be afraid to call Cigna and argue your case!

For additional information, see Cigna’s Pectus Excavatum page.