Biz BriefsCigna HealthCare of New Jersey and an affiliate last week fell afoul of the stateÂs Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI), which accused the companies of steering small businesses Âinto products with substantially reduced benefits.Â DOBI fined them $500 for each of 4,246 violations, or $2.1 million in all. It also asked Cigna and its affiliate, Connecticut General Life Insurance, to restore higher levels of coverage to 2,123 small businesses.
DOBI said Cigna, which has offices in Jersey City, last year had sought to remove 35 optional benefit riders from its standard health maintenance (HMO) plan. In its application to DOBI, it said it would inform customers that it would also continue to offer state-mandated HMO plans. The letters Cigna sent employers did not include that notification, the regulator said, and instead the insurer pointed companies toward plans with slower level of benefits.