Need After-Hours Care?

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treat you prescribe a drug for you, remember to discuss your current health and medical history with them. Your doctor can take
precautions to see that you receive drugs that are safe and effective
for you. For example, you should make sure that your doctor
knows if:
■ you have any drug allergies
■ you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant
■ you have medical problems or conditions other than the one for
which you will be taking the drug
■ you’re currently on any other medication, take any medication
regularly or have taken other medication in recent weeks, including any prescription or over-the-counter drugs. (Examples of
over-the-counter drugs include pain relievers, antacids, mineral
and vitamin supplements and herbal remedies.)
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions about the drug he or
she is prescribing. These questions might include: How much of
the drug should I take and when? What should I do if I miss a
dose? Are there any side effects? Are there any foods, beverages or
other medications I should avoid while I’m taking this medication?
Once you begin taking your medication, remember the following tips:
■ Follow your doctor’s recommendations on how much of the
medication you should take each time and when you should
take it.
■ Don’t share your prescription medication with anyone.
It could be harmful to someone else.
■ Pay attention to the expiration date and throw away
expired drugs.
■ Keep all medications out of the reach of children.
Need After-Hours Care?
CIGNA HealthCare requires your Primary Care Physician
(PCP), or your PCP’s designated on-call doctor, to be
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide
advice or treatment in urgent situations. If you have an
urgent situation, call your PCP for advice. Your PCP will
direct you to the most appropriate place for care: a doctor’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency room.
Brand-name drugs cost
more than generic drugs
because the price reflects
the pharmaceutical company’s expenses in developing, researching and
marketing the drug. After
17 years the patent for
the drug expires, and
other companies may produce and sell generic versions of the same drug.
Since the new producers
do not have to cover the
initial development costs
in their price, the generic
versions cost from 30 to
70 percent less.
Not only do generic
drugs cost less, but they
also contain the same
active ingredients as their
brand-name counterparts,
and their effectiveness and
dosages are the same.
CIGNA HealthCare
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Finding a Physician Who Speaks Your Language
CIGNA HealthCare—Louisiana members are from very diverse backgrounds. Would you
like to find a physician who speaks a certain language? The following are two ways you
can do so:
1. Call Member Services at the number listed on your CIGNA HealthCare ID card, and
a Member Services Representative will assist you.
2. If you have Internet access, go to the CIGNA HealthCare Web site at,
click on “Provider Directory” and then click on “Physicians.” You will be able to
search by ZIP Code first, then by language.
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The Member Services Department is proud
to offer Language Line, a simultaneous
interpretation service available in 140
It’s easy to use. Simply call the toll-free
number on your CIGNA HealthCare ID card,
tell the Member Services Representative that
you need an interpreter, and let him or her
know which language you speak. The Member
Services Representative will then connect you
to the appropriate interpreter. Most of the
interpreters have language skills similar to
those of a native speaker.
The interpreter can translate questions or
concerns that you have about benefits and
health care services and will translate the
answers for you. This service is free to CIGNA
HealthCare members.
Please note that our Member Services
Department also has Spanish-speaking representatives who service most of our benefits
plans. If you speak Spanish, you will be connected to either a Spanish-speaking Member
Services Representative or to a Language Line
interpreter, depending on your plan.
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El Departamento de Servicios a los Miembros está
orgulloso de poner a su disposición Language Line
(Línea de Idiomas), un servicio de interpretación
simultánea disponible en 140 idiomas.
Es fácil de usar. Simplemente llame al número de
teléfono gratuito que aparece en su tarjeta de identificación de CIGNA HealthCare, dígale al Representante
de Servicios a los Miembros que usted necesita un
intérprete, y indíquele el idioma que usted habla. El
representante le conectará con el intérprete apropiado. La mayoría de los intérpretes hablan el idioma
como si fuera su lengua natal.
El intérprete le puede traducir preguntas o inquietudes que usted tenga sobre beneficios o servicios
de atención médica, y le traducirá las respuestas.
Este servicio es gratuito para miembros de CIGNA
Nuestro Departamento de Servicios a los Miembros
también cuenta con representantes que hablan
español y quienes prestan servicios en la mayoría de
los planes de beneficios. Si usted habla español, se
le contectará con un Representante de Servicios a los
Miembros que hable español o con un intérprete de
la Línea de Idiomas, dependiendo del plan que usted
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When Can I See My Doctor?
WE ASK THE DOCTORS in the network to meet certain waiting time
standards when scheduling appointments. This helps make sure that
when you need health care you are
able to see your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or a specialist promptly.
These standards are based on medical necessity, with serious medical
needs receiving priority. This is
why it is important to call your
PCP well in advance for routine
Appointment standards for different situations are in the chart
to the right. Please read them to
find out how you can best use your
healthplan. If you must cancel an
appointment, be sure to notify your
doctor’s office at least 24 hours in
advance. Some physicians charge
a fee for missed appointments. To
learn more about appointment
guidelines, call Member Services.
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CIGNA HealthCare—Louisiana requests that physicians
meet the appointment guidelines below.
Routine or physical exam
Within 6 to 8 weeks
First visit after pregnancy is confirmed
by a physician
Within 2 weeks
PCP or
Well-baby or well-child care
Within 2 weeks
Nonurgent complaint, such as back
pain, missed menstrual period or cold
that has lasted for more than a week
Within 2 weeks
Referral to another physician for a
nonurgent condition
Within 2 weeks
Urgent complaints such as acute
muscle pain, unusual bleeding and
acute infections
Within 24 hours
If you must cancel an appointment, be sure to notify your doctor’s office at least
24 hours in advance. Otherwise your physician may charge you a fee for the missed
appointment. This fee would not be covered under your benefits plan.
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s y m p t o m s
Getting relief from allergies does not have to
mean choosing either sneezing or snoozing.
Your doctor can work with you to find a
medication that can help you say goodbye
to allergy symptoms without falling asleep.
chemical called histamine. Histamine makes
your eyes itch, airways swell and nose run.
Choose Medications Carefully
Know the Triggers
Seasonal allergy symptoms occur when your
immune system attacks the pollen or mold
spores you inhale. People are typically allergic to pollen from trees, grass and ragweed.
Mold lives in soil as well as on compost and
damp plants. Inside, mold is often in damp
places, bathrooms, fabrics, carpets, books
and wallpaper. When your immune system
attacks allergens in your body, it releases a
If you suffer
from seasonal
Antihistamines block the action of histamine.
Side effects may include drowsiness, dry
mouth and confusion. Ask your doctor about
medicines without these side effects.
Decongestants shrink blood vessels, which
lessens nasal congestion. Side effects can include a rise in blood pressure or nervousness.
See Your Doctor
talk with
Describe all your symptoms to your doctor.
If medically necessary, he or she may refer
you to an allergist.
your doctor.