Aetna Life Insurance Co. will pay up to $3.4 million to settle a proposed class action claiming it wrongly refused to cover a cancer treatment called proton beam therapy.
The settlement, announced March 3 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, allows 142 patients who were denied coverage between June 2017 and October 2020 to receive individual cash payments of up to $24,000. Each settlement class member who submits a timely and valid claim form will receive a minimum payment of at least $10,000, according to the filing.
The lawsuit accuses Aetna of wrongly declining to cover proton beam therapy as a treatment for certain cancers on the grounds that it’s experimental and investigational. In October 2020, after this lawsuit was filed, Aetna revised its coverage guidelines to expand the list of conditions for which proton beam therapy could be considered an appropriate treatment, according to the filing.