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Approving your care

Care coordination is a “checks and balances” program for your medical care. To help make sure you get the right kind of treatment, at the right time, a care coordinator reviews your condition before, during and after you receive your medical care.

You should discuss any non-emergency surgery or institutional admission (e.g., hospital, skilled nursing facility, etc.) or advanced radiological treatment or service with a Cigna care coordinator prior to the procedure being performed or prior to admission. This will ensure that you and your physician understand the coverage your MILA Plan will provide and what your costs for the procedure will be.

Hospital admissions always require approval for maximum benefits to be paid. If the admission is planned, approval is required in advance. Emergency admissions require approval within 48 hours after the admission. A maternity admission requires approval only if the stay exceeds 48 hours (96 hours for a cesarean section).

Hospital admissions will be approved for a specific number of days. If your stay must be extended for some reason beyond the approved number of days, you or your representative must call the Cigna care coordinator to obtain approval for the additional days. The care coordinator will certify those days that are approved under the Plan.

In addition, certain procedures, treatments and supplies — whether from an In-Network provider or another provider — must be approved before you receive them in order for the Plan to pay the maximum benefit.

The following surgeries and procedures require advance approval, regardless of whether they are performed on an inpatient or an outpatient basis. This list includes but is not limited to:

  • Adenoidectomy;
  • Carpal tunnel release;
  • Cataract extraction;
  • Cholecystectomy;
  • Colonoscopy;
  • Coronary angiography;
  • Hernia repair;
  • Hysterectomy;
  • Hysteroscopy;
  • Knee arthroscopy;
  • Lumbar myelography;
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – brain, cervical, lumbar, musculoskeletal, thoracic regions;
  • Myringotomy with tube insertion;
  • Pelvic laparoscopy;
  • Positron-emission tomography (PET) scan;
  • Sinus surgery (all);
  • Surgical procedures of the shoulder (including arthroscopy);
  • Tonsillectomy; and
  • Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy.

Advance approval is also required if your doctor orders any of the following special care or services. This list includes but is not limited to:

  • Care in a skilled nursing facility;
  • Home health care;
  • Hospice care; and
  • Transplant surgery.


If you use an In-Network provider, that provider will call the Cigna care coordinator directly for approval. However, it is your responsibility to verify that your provider has taken care of this for you.

If you use an Out-of-Network provider, it is your responsibility to call for approval. Either you or someone who can speak for you must call the care coordinator. Click here to see the in the Administrative Information section, for how to find a Cigna care coordinator.

Approval must be requested at least four business days (Monday through Friday) before you have a procedure performed. Different rules apply to medical emergencies; see here for more information.