Our 2022 Cigna Medicare Review
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As one of America’s oldest and largest health insurance companies, it's no surprise that Cigna offers Medicare Advantage Plans to its members.
Founded in 1792, Cigna has over 17 million health insurance members and over 400,000 Medicare Advantage members.
They are the eighth largest insurer in the U.S., which means they compete with other big companies like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.
Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans are available in 18 states. Although their plans are not the most affordable, it offers six different Medicare Advantage Plans for you to choose from, whereas many insurance companies only have one.
There is a magazine called Fortune that ranks the biggest companies in America each year. In 2020, Cigna was number 13 on the list. This means it is one of the largest companies in the country.
The benefit of having a Medicare Advantage Plan with a large insurer is that you usually have more doctors and plans to choose from.
What Is A Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of medical insurance for people who are on Original Medicare, but who want more benefits.
Medicare Advantage Plans are provided by a private insurer, whereas Medicare is provided by the government.
Insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans must follow the rules set by the government's Medicare.
Some of the extra benefits of a Medicare Advantage Plan are fitness programs, discounted gym memberships, vision and hearing benefits, and dental coverage.
Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans are called Cigna Healthspring.
The pros and cons of Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans
Before you make a decision to choose Cigna as your medical insurance provider, it’s good to know what the pros and cons are of this company.
✅ Pro: Many Special Needs Plans
Cigna offers several types of Special Needs Plans (SNPs) for people who are on Medicare and Medicaid.
What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a government assistance program that helps low-income Americans of every age, who can’t afford to pay for any medical costs.
This means that people with special needs like chronic conditions, get health insurance coverage. Many other insurance companies don’t offer SNPs or only offer limited SNPs.
✅ Pro: Telehealth and other added benefits
Cigna offers its Medicare Advantage members 24/7 access to telehealth. Telehealth is when you speak to a doctor via a video call rather than visiting their office.
Having access to telehealth means that you don’t need to leave your home to see a health care provider, and you can see them at any time of day.
This is good if you are too ill to leave your home or if you don’t have transport to visit a doctor.
Some Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans also offer other benefits like meal delivery and transport to and from doctors.
✅ Pro: Special support for complex needs
This Medicare provider has a big focus on helping members who have special needs.
Medicare considers those who suffer from chronic illness or the disabled as special needs members.
Cigna has certain health services that are specially designed for people with special or complicated needs.
These services are things like case management and a larger team of doctors who offers different treatments.
❌ Con: Cost
Cigna is known for having more expensive Medicare Advantage Plans. While it does offer low or no monthly premiums for some plans, its out-of-pocket maximums are high.
This means that if you use a lot of Cigna’s services, you may end up spending a lot of your own money.
What Is An Out-Of-Pocket Maximum?
When you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will need to contribute toward some of your medical expenses with your own money.
Every Medicare Advantage Plan sets a limit on how much money you will have to pay out of your own pocket. This is called an out-of-pocket maximum. After this limit is reached, your medical insurance will cover 100% of your medical costs.
You will need to see doctors that Cigna approves—also known as in-network providers—to get 100% coverage after reaching your out-of-pocket maximum.
❌ Con: Availability
Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans are available in only 18 of the 50 states. These states include:
District of Columbia.
If Cigna Medicare Advantage is not available in your state, you won’t be able to use them as your health insurer.
We will explain more about Medicare Advantage ratings later in this review, but some of Cigna’s health insurance plans get low ratings. Many of their plans only receive a three-star rating, and only one of their plans has scored a five-star rating.
What Is Cigna’s Medicare Star Rating? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is an organization that gives health insurance companies ratings based on their Medicare Advantage Plans.
When the CMS gives a Medicare Advantage insurer a rating, they base the rating on customer satisfaction, how they help their members stay healthy, and how they help members manage chronic conditions.
Here’s what the different Medicare star ratings mean:
(No stars): New Plan
⭐⭐: Below average
In 2022, the CMS gave Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans an average of four-and-a-half stars. In comparison, UnitedHealthcare and Humana both have four-star CMS ratings.
It is good to know what an insurance company’s CMS Medicare star rating is, because this can help you decide if they are the right insurance carrier for you.
Other Third-Party Ratings
There are other organizations that review Medicare Advantage providers. But, unlike the CMS, they are third-party companies.
A third-party company means that the review doesn’t come from anyone associated with Cigna except its members.
There are a lot of third-party platforms that provide reviews of Medicare Advantage insurance companies, but we will be looking at Consumer Affairs, JD Power, and AM Best.
Cigna’s Consumer Affairs rating
Consumer Affairs is a website where people can write reviews about companies. Anyone can use Consumer Affairs. Cigna’s reviews on Consumer Affairs are written by its members.
On Consumer Affairs, Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans have a rating of just under four stars.
Here is an example of a review of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage offerings by one of their members on Consumer Affairs.
Cigna’s JD Power score
This is a consumer research, data, and analytics firm in the U.S. They do customer research by interviewing members of health insurance providers and then giving the company a score.
JD Power has been rating companies for over 50 years, so you can trust that their reviews of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans would be accurate.
Each year, JD Power does a study where they rank all the Medicare Advantage providers in the U.S. by giving them a score out of 1,000. In 2022, Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans received a score of 790 out of 1,000.
Their JD Power score is lower than the industry average, which was 809 this year.
Here is a graph showing where Cigna is placed in relation to other Medicare Advantage providers in JD Powers’ 2022 study:
Cigna’s AM Best rating
Another third-party reviewer of Cigna that we can look at to decide if they are a good Medicare Advantage provider, is AM Best.
AM Best is a credit rating agency in America that rates the financial strength of insurance companies.
If a health insurance carrier is financially strong, they don’t have any issues to pay out claims to their members.
If a health insurance company has a bad AM Best rating, there is a chance that they might close down or may not be able to pay out claims.
So, you would want to choose a Medicare Advantage provider with a good AM Best rating.
Cigna’s HealthSpring Medicare Advantage Plans have been given an A- financial strength rating by AM Best. Their A- rating means that their financial strength is categorized as excellent.
This means that Cigna is a financially strong company and will be able to operate as it should.
How Does Cigna Medicare Compare to Other Medicare Providers?
If you are looking for a decent Medicare Advantage Plan, it’s always a good idea to compare the provider you have in mind with other companies to choose the best option for you.
Cigna Medicare vs. UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare has Medicare Advantage Plans that are available in all 50 U.S states.
But, as we mentioned before, Cigna only has Medicare Advantage Plans available in 18 states. If you don’t live in one of these states, you won’t be able to enroll in a Cigna plan.
It’s worth noting that UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance provider in America, and they have over 6.5 million Medicare Advantage members. Using a larger provider means having access to more doctors and pharmacies, as well as plan options.
Both UnitedHealthcare and Cigna have mobile apps and online portals that members can use to manage their Medicare Advantage Plans.
They can use the app or the website to view their benefits and manage their claims, for example.
UnitedHealthcare’s customer service options include telephone and online support. Cigna’s customer service include telephone, mail, online, or chat options.
Cigna Medicare vs. Aetna
Aetna’s five different Medicare Advantage Plans are available in all states except Florida and Minnesota. They currently have 22.1 million health insurance members with 3.2 million Medicare Advantage members.
They have several $0 premium Medicare Advantage Plans available for over 85% of people who are on Original Medicare.
Their AM Best rating is A (excellent), and their average CMS star rating is just over three-and-a-half stars.
While Cigna covers over 1.5 million health care providers and over 65,000 pharmacies, Aetna covers 690,00 health care providers and 5,700 pharmacies.
Their customer service options include telephone, request a call, or email.
Cigna Medicare vs. Humana
Humana’s Medicare Advantage Plans are available in all 50 states, and they currently have 20 million health insurance members and 5.1 million Medicare Advantage members.
In terms of its ratings, Humana has a three-and-a-half-star rating by the CMS.
Like Cigna, they also have a mobile app that is available on iOS and Android mobile devices where members can access and manage their Medicare Advantage Plans.
There is an organization called the National Association of Insurance Companies (NAIC) that regulates insurance providers in America.
They have something called a complaint index, where they rank insurance providers based on the number of complaints they receive.
Numbers lower than 1.0 on the NAIC are good, meaning the company’s complaints are low. Numbers higher than 1.0 mean the insurance company has more complaints.
Cigna’s NAIC complaint index is 0, and Humana’s complaint index is 0.72.
Here is Cigna’s complaint index on NAIC:
And here is Humana’s complaint index on NAIC:
Medicare Advantage Plans Offered By Cigna
Cigna offers a few different types of Medicare Advantage Plans that have different structures, costs, and benefits.
A health maintenance organization (HMO) plan only gives you access to a certain network of doctors and other health care providers. That means if you see a doctor that isn’t part of Cigna’s network, they will not pay for your doctor’s visit.
Also, with HMO plans, if you need to see a specialist, you will need a referral from your doctor. A referral is a letter from your doctor that says you need to see a specialist because of something related to your health.
A preferred provider organization (PPO) plan gives you a bit more freedom, because you can see any doctor you like that accepts Medicare Advantage insurance.
You also won’t need a referral from a doctor to see a specialist. But, if you do see a doctor outside of Cigna’s approved network, you may have to pay some money toward the appointment from your own pocket.
Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
Cigna offers SNPs to its members with medical conditions like disabilities and chronic illnesses. These plans will pay for any prescription medication that Cigna members need.
What is Prescription Medication?
Prescription medications are drugs that your doctor prescribes. In other words, it is a medication that your doctor says you must take because of a health condition.
Your doctor will give you a prescription in the form of a note which you would need to take to a pharmacy to get your drugs.
Their SNPs also cover other services that someone with special needs may need, such as nursing at home.
What is different between Cigna’s SNPs and other insurance companies, is that they design their SNPs around the member’s specific medical needs. This is also known as an individualized plan.
How Much Do Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans Cost?
How much you pay for your Medicare Advantage Plan will depend on the plan that you choose, where you live, and what your health needs are.
Your monthly premium, co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles also contribute to how much you pay.
Monthly Premiums, Copayments, Coinsurance, and Deductibles:
A monthly premium is the fee that people pay to Cigna to be a member of a Medicare Advantage Plan. Cigna’s monthly premiums range from $5.10 to $81 per month. They also have some $0-premium plans.
A co-payment is the fee members will have to pay out of their own pocket when they see a doctor. These payments are usually around $10 to $15.
Coinsurance is a percentage of health care costs that members will need to pay out of their own picket. This amount is usually around 20%.
A deductible is the amount of money a member will need to pay before their Medicare Advantage Plan starts to cover their medical costs.
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll still have your Original Medicare through the government system.
However, most of your Part A and Part B coverage will come from your Medicare Advantage Plan, not Original Medicare.
It’s important to remember that, as a Medicare Advantage user, you will still have to pay your Part B premium, which is for the Original Medicare that the government provides, which is $170.10 per month in 2022.
This premium will increase to $164.90 in 2023.
The monthly premiums for Cigna’s HMO plans that offer prescription drug coverage range from $0 to $139 per month, and their deductibles range from $0 to $445 per year. Annual out-of-pocket maximums are between $1,000 and $7,550.
The monthly premium for Cigna’s HMO plans without prescription drug coverage is $0. Out-of-pocket maximums are between $3,900 and $6,900.
The monthly premiums for Cigna’s PPO plans with prescription drug coverage range from $0 to $445 per month, and their deductibles range from $0 to $195 per year. The out-of-pocket maximum for these plans is anything from $4,400 to $7,400.
The monthly premium for Cigna’s PPO plans without prescription drug coverage is $0. All of Cigna’s PPO plans have an annual out-of-pocket maximum of between 4,400 and $7,400.
Medicare Part D Plans Cigna Offers
Medicare Part D is coverage for self-administered prescription drugs. Self-administered prescription medications are drugs that you can take yourself without any assistance or medical devices—for example, a pill that you swallow.
Cigna offers three standalone prescription drug plans (PDPs). A standalone plan means that the plan only pays for drugs and not for any other medical services.
If you only have a standalone PDP, Cigna will not pay for you to visit a doctor, for example. They will only pay for the prescription medication you get from a pharmacy.
This is the first Medicare Part D plan that Cigna offers. It has basic coverage with a low monthly premium. It also has low co-payments on generic drugs.
Generic drugs are medications that aren’t brand-name but work the same way. Generic drugs are usually cheaper than brand-name medications.
Rx Secure Essential
This Medicare Part D plan also has low premiums and covers more medication than Rx Secure. They also offer low costs on generic drugs.
Rx Secure Extra
This plan gives you the most possible coverage for prescription medication, but it comes with a higher monthly premium. It offers lower out-of-pocket costs—the money you spend out of your own pocket—and more extensive drug coverage.
Cigna Medicare Supplement Plans
Cigna offers something called Medicare Supplement Insurance, which is also known as Medigap insurance plans.
Supplement plans are for people who are on federal Medicare, but who want extra coverage for the things that Medicare doesn’t cover.
Medigap insurance or Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans cover some of the costs of co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for Medicare.
It doesn’t matter which health insurance company you choose, all their benefits are the same.
Cigna Medicare Supplement Insurance comes in five plans:
Plan A: Gives you slightly higher extra coverage than Medicare.
Plan F: Gives you the most coverage and has no out-of-pocket costs for any services that Medicare covers.
Plan F High Deductible: Gives you all the coverage of Plan F but with a higher deductible.
Plan G: Gives you more coverage at a lower monthly premium.
Plan N: Gives you lower premiums and more predictable out-of-pocket costs.
Tips For Finding the Right Medicare Advantage Plan
The best thing you can do when trying to find the right Medicare Plan is to do your research.
You can use our website to compare Medicare Advantage Plans and learn more about Medicare.
You will need to consider what a plan costs, including its premium, co-payments, deductibles, and coinsurance.
Also, you’ll want to check that the doctor or doctors that you visit regularly are covered by Cigna. In other words, does your doctor fall within their approved network?
If coverage for things like dental, vision, and hearing benefits is important to you, make sure you find a Medicare Advantage Plan that covers these things.
Lastly, you would want to check that the Medicare Advantage provider you choose covers any prescription medication that you take.
Where Can I Learn More about Medicare Advantage Plans?
You can learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans and how Medicare works by visiting our website.
We have plenty of useful resources and guides to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan.
If you need any other assistance, you can reach us at 1-888-912-2132 or send an email to Help@PolicyScout.com.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cigna Medicare
Why is Cigna Medicare Advantage a good choice for Medicare consumers?
Cigna Medicare Advantage is a good choice for anyone on government Medicare as it provides good coverage for medical costs and comes with added benefits like telehealth options.
If you are on Medicare and have special needs or a chronic condition, Cigna Medicare Advantage is an excellent choice as they provide many extra benefits for people with special needs.
What extra benefits can I get on Cigna Medicare Advantage?
Depending on the Cigna Medicare Advantage Plan you choose, you can get access to extra benefits such as coverage for dental, hearing, and vision care.
They also offer discounts for over-the-counter medications—which are drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor—and they include free transportation for healthcare visits.
Some of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage plans also have home-delivered meals and free health and wellness discounts.
Can I use a Medicare supplement plan with my Medicare Advantage?
You can’t use a Cigna Medicare Advantage Plan with a Medicare Supplement Plan. But you can add a Medicare Supplement Plan if you are on the government’s original version of Medicare.