Cigna Care Manager Service Case: Daughter Suffered from Sleep Apnea, Father Worried about Safety and Cost of Surgery
Cigna Care Manager Service

Cigna Care Manager Service Case: Daughter Suffered from Sleep Apnea, Father Worried about Safety and Cost of Surgery

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Parents always feel nervous and worried if their young children have to undergo surgery. Mr. Leung’s daughter suffered from sleep apnea earlier, which seriously affected her daily life, and so a surgery was required. Both Mr. Leung and his daughter are Cigna’s customers. On the one hand, Mr. Leung was worried that he could not completely afford the cost of surgery, and on the other hand, he was worried about the risk of the surgery, so he sought help from Cigna for further professional medical advice.

Mr. Leung’s 9-year-old daughter, Alice, suffered from sleep apnea. She often snored during sleep and could not breathe easily, resulting in poor quality of sleep at night. She would easily feel tired and find it difficult to concentrate during class at daytime. At first, Mr. Leung did not know about his daughter’s condition well and was worried that she would sleep and never wake up again as a result of difficulty in breathing and even suffocation. He swiftly consulted an ENT specialist, who checked that Alice’s nasal tissue and tonsils were enlarged, which easily obstructed the airways when sleeping, resulting in sleep apnea. The doctor finally advised Alice to remove related excess tissue to mitigate the obstruction of her airways and asphyxia symptoms. However, the cost of the surgery was as high as HK$250,000, which was out of Mr. Leung’s expectation. He was distressed about the financial burden that he couldn’t handle, and felt very confused. He was also worried about the risk of the surgery, so he inquired with Cigna’s Care Manager, hoping to learn more about the treatment and surgery of sleep apnea.

Once our Care Manager received Mr. Leung’s request for assistance, we immediately found another ENT specialist under Cigna medical network for Alice, and arranged a consultation appointment to seek additional advice. After consultation, the doctor reduced the cost of surgery to HK$170,000 upon evaluation of Alice’s condition and treatment plan, alleviating the financial burden of her family. Our Care Manager also handled the application for the “Guarantee of Payment Letter” (“GOP”) for Alice in order to arrange the surgery as soon as possible and reduce the financial burden. Fortunately, her symptoms have mitigated significantly after the surgery, and she became more energetic without dozing off during class at daytime, and slept better at night than before.

Seeing that Mr. Leung has been feeling distressed about his daughter’s condition, our Care Manager provided him with certain counselling services to relieve his stress and anxiety. We also suggested that he should pay attention to some daily life tips, such as teaching his daughter to sleep on her side to reduce obstruction of the airways during sleep. Meanwhile, some common fallacies are clarified: her daughter would not die during her sleep due to sleep apnea, to relieve Mr. Leung from excessive stress.

Experts from the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong have estimated that about 5% of school-aged children in Hong Kong suffer from sleep apnea. The main cause of this disease in children is different from that in adults. Children will suffer from enlarged tissues such as tonsils, which will lead to obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing or hypopneas.

Professor Albert Martin LI, Chairman of the Department of Paediatrics, CU Medicine had stated that snoring, night sweats and mouth breathing during sleep are some common symptoms of sleep apnea of children. Other symptoms are daytime inattention, sleepiness, hyperactivity, and behavioural problems. He advises parents that they should consult a doctor as quickly as possible if they find their children with the above conditions.

CU Medicine’s Research Team conducted a longitudinal 10-year follow-up study on childhood sleep apnea between 2003 and 2005 for 243 children with an average age of about 10 years at that time to understand the relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension, including 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. The results showed that nearly 100 children with moderate to severe sleep apnea have higher blood pressure than other children of the same age, and they are 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to develop hypertension when they grow into young adulthood than the general population.

At present, Cigna’s customers can receive our Healthcare Concierge Service when receiving treatment, including a dedicated Care Manager for follow-up. The services are as follows:

  • Staffed by registered nurses and provide customers with professional advisory if they are facing health issue
  • Understands and analyzes the health condition of customers, and offers network doctor options
  • Coordinates and follows up on hospital surgery or treatment arrangements and post-surgery visit
  • Provides information on improving health, and post-discharge follow-up in person(for example, arranging post-discharge physiotherapy, nutrition guidance, meal delivery service, and more)
  • Refers you to personalized services (for example, local limousine transportation to the hospital, nursing arrangements, virtual consultation, medication delivery, home modification, and more)
  • Provides emotional support for customers and their family
  • Helps arrange “Cigna Health Services At Home” to reduce the risk of infection

The above content is adapted from real cases. Should you have any questions regarding the above case, please contact Cigna for inquiries.

The content of the article cannot substitute for professional opinions or diagnosis of the attending doctors. Should you have any questions regarding the medical treatment plan, please consult your attending doctor.

The content of the above article is for reference only, and Cigna does not warrant or make any representation regarding the accuracy and completeness of the related content and information. Cigna shall not be liable for any damages, indemnities, costs or other expenses arising out of the related content and information.


Cigna HealthFirst Elite 360 Medical Plan offers comprehensive and personalized medical coverage across the stage prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery, with a range of hospital and surgical benefits, optional insurance benefits with an annual limit of up to HK$50 million, personalized health assessment, three critical illnesses(cancer, stroke and heart attack) all-rounded care and international medical concierge service. A 360-degree total health protection that spans across all the key stages of your health journey. Learn more here.

The above insurance product information is directly provided by Cigna, and the relevant information is not the content and features of all the coverage of the insurance product. The designated insurance plan is bound by its policy terms. Please visit the Cigna website and refer to the relevant product brochures and policy terms for details of features, contents, terms, conditions and exclusions of relevant products. The above information cannot be used as an insurance contract executed between Cigna and any person or group or as an offer, invitation or lobbying to enter into any insurance contract.

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