Coverage Update: Cigna to Cover Excimer Laser Treatment for Vitiligo image

Cigna, a global health services company offering health, pharmacy, dental and Medicare plans to both individuals and businesses covering over 20 million people in the United States, has issued a new medical coverage policy for excimer laser therapy vitiligo. STRATA Skin Sciences, maker of the XTRAC excimer laser, has announced the coverage decision. Cigna previously deemed such treatment cosmetic and not medically necessary.

“We are very pleased that the XTRAC treatment of vitiligo has been accepted as medically necessary by Cigna and look forward to reaching out to the medical community and vitiligo sufferers nationwide to inform them of this good news. Expanding insurance coverage for the relevant patient population enhances the XTRAC value for the partner physicians and increases our addressable market,” says Dr. Dolev Rafaeli, President and Chief Executive Officer of STRATA. “In addition, Cigna, in their medical coverage policy, notes XTRAC as the only excimer laser available in the United States. Strata is proud to be the sole licensee of a set of vitiligo use related patents issued by the Mount Sinai Hospital.”

Under the new policy coverage, an initial regimen for up to 12 weeks of office-based targeted excimer laser therapy is considered medically necessary for the treatment of localized vitiligo after failure, intolerance or contraindications of trials with a topical corticosteroid and calcineurin inhibitor.

Continued office-based targeted excimer laser therapy beyond the initial 12 weeks and for up to 52 weeks is considered medically necessary for the treatment of localized or generalized vitiligo when there is a beneficial clinical response to treatment. 

Continued office-based targeted excimer laser therapy beyond the initial 52 weeks and for up to and including 200 total treatments is considered medically necessary for the treatment of localized or generalized vitiligo when there is continued beneficial clinical response. 

Previously, Cigna did not cover excimer laser therapy for the treatment of localized or generalized vitiligo because such treatment was considered cosmetic and not medically necessary. 

Average reimbursement to the physician is approximately $189 per treatment or approximately $38,000 per patient over 52 weeks of treatment. 

Prior to this decision by Cigna, 76% of the patients handled by the STRATA reimbursement team had vitiligo as a covered insurance benefit.