February 13, 2019

Cigna to cover ReWalk exoskeleton system

Courtesy/ReWalk
A demonstration of ReWalk's exoskeleton systems.

Marlborough medical device firm ReWalk Robotics said a major health insurer will take requests for coverage of exoskeleton medical devices for people with spinal cord injuries on a case-by-case basis.

That health insurer is Connecticut-based Cigna Corp, and it has revised its policy, becoming the first private U.S. insurer to review submissions from beneficiaries.

In a press release, ReWalk CEO Larry Jasinski called Cigna's coverage a major milestone for healthcare beneficiaries in the U.S.

"Cigna is leading by example with its understanding of emerging technologies, a focus on improving the overall health and well-being of beneficiaries, and most of all, in the development of progressive policies," said Jasinski. "This new policy is expected to have an immediate impact on the lives of qualified beneficiaries who will now have access to life changing medical devices."

The policy change is the first major development in the U.S. for exoskeleton devices since the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued a national policy in 2015 for the evaluation, training and procurement of ReWalk's systems.

Jasinski said the company has been educating payors about the benefits of the exoskeleton systems, and Cigna's decision comes after providing recent evidence.

"We anticipate that other payors will follow Cigna's leadership in providing the latest and most current technologies for their members," he said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Cigna's headquarters are in Philadelphia. The insurer is actually based in Bloomfield, Conn.

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