Nimmagadda also says that Cigna is closely monitoring the situation in Dallas and “will work with public health professionals, customers, clients, and local health care professionals as necessary.”
Aetna, too, is monitoring the situation closely but agrees with the CDC, which has said that even with the latest developments, Ebola poses no significant threat to the general population in the U.S., says spokeswoman Cynthia Michener.
Duncan has been given brincidofovir, an anti-viral drug that has shown promise in the laboratory but had not yet been tested in humans. The manufacturer of the drug, Chimerix, received special permission from the Food and Drug Administration to provide it to him.
Generally, health insurance companies don't cover the cost of “experimental” treatments. Michener says Aetna would “continue to follow the guidance of health authorities closely on any treatment options they determine are viable.” Currently, she notes, the treatment given Duncan “is still in trials, unproven in humans, and not yet approved by the FDA.”In fact, "experimental" is one of 12 words never to say to your insurance company. Manufacturers generally cover the cost of such ad-hoc treatments that have not yet gone through FDA trials and approval. So health insurance companies would not be on the hook for what could be costly medications.