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Denial of coverage for Anesthesia

In late June I had a steroid injection into my C-6/C-7 vertebrae to address nerve pain that was radiating down my back and shoulders. At the start of the procedure I was injected with Propofol. My Health Insurance (Cigna) has paid all costs with the exception of the Anesthesia which they contend was not 'medically necessary'. I had a similar procedure on my lower back several years ago and the cost of the Anesthesia was not questioned, so this rejection was a surprise to me.

Is Anesthesia typically used for a Cervical Steroid Injection? I am planning on contesting this denial of coverage and would like to have a valid argument that supports the medical necessity of having Anesthesia for this procedure.



  • Usually for a spinal injection, at least with my experience in having many. They do not use propofal. They usually use verced and dilaudid or something similar to sedate you. They have never put me to sleep for a spinal injection. Hope this helps. 


  • Welcome ptan we’re glad you’re here!

    I have never had a cervical injection, but I have had several lumbar injections and they have never used anesthesia for them, they use a numbing medication.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,713

    I have also had several injections and have never been put to sleep. That may be why you're insurance did not cover it because they usually just use a numbing agent.

  • Also. I have had friends of mine that have had procedures such as this and the Anastesiologist they hired for the procedure was out of network as far as the insurance is concerned. A good friend of mine ended up with a $7000.00 bill because the doctor performing the procedure on him hired an out of network anastesiologist. Doesn't really make sense I know. But it does happen.


  • I’ve had injections without sedation and with and prefer sedation. I think they can contact your PM Dr. or get a form from your insurance saying it’s necessary for you to get this sedation.

     I’ve heard others just take a. oral sedative but you have to call your insurance to see if you can get the form so your Dr approves it. so insurance will pay perhaps. 

    I’m so glad we have mostly free healthcare but some things we need private insurance in my country. 

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  • Man, am I glad to live in Belgium. My acdf surgery was 5000 euro, which is roughly 6000 usd. Our healthcare paid half of it. My insurance paid the other half. I ended up paying 125 euro. Which is roughly 150 usd. You guys should 'shop' abroad. I looked at how much acdf costs in usa and in uk. Crazy expensive. Same goes for studying. Almost free over here. We do pay an insane amount of taxes though. More then half of what we earn goes directly or indirectly to taxes.

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