Cigna Medicare Advantage Review
Cigna earns a spot in our list because of how budget-friendly many of their plan options are. Despite having a large number of low and $0 monthly premium plans, many Cigna plans still offer competitive benefits and even prescription drug coverage.
- Low or $0 premiums
- Special Needs plans offered
- Most plans come with prescription drug coverage
- Many plans offer extra benefits such as dental, hearing, and vision coverage, fitness memberships, and nurse hotline
- Medicare Star Ratings average 4.5 out of 5 stars
- Restricted to a local network of providers
- May require referrals for specialists
- Slightly below average customer satisfaction
- Above average rate of customers switching plans
Choosing your Medicare coverage may be one of the most complicated choices you'll ever make. While you have more options now for Medicare coverage than ever before, with that freedom of choice comes great responsibility. You want to choose wisely, but it can be difficult to know what is best.
That's where we can help.
What you need to know about Cigna Medicare Advantage plans
As one of the largest health insurers in the United States, Cigna offers Medicare coverage to nearly half a million beneficiaries in 26 states. The majority of Cigna's plans are HMOs that require you to stay in-network for your care.
Nearly 90 percent of Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 monthly premiums. Almost half of their plans also offer all-in-one prescription drug coverage.
Cigna's plans are also known for offering budget-friendly coverage without extra perks.
What kind of quality can you expect from Cigna?
Cigna plans average a Medicare star rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. This rating is above average, but not excellent. While Cigna typically delivers good coverage at an affordable rate, its members are more likely than others to switch plans at the end of the year and report lower than average customer satisfaction.
Who recommends Cigna?
The following companies have recognized Cigna for the company's excellence in the following realms:
National Business Group on Health honored Cigna with the Innovation in Advancing Health Equity Award.
American Heart Association recognized Cigna for Gold-Level Recognition for Workplace Health Achievement.
A. M. Best gave Cigna an A rating for financial strength.
National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions named Cigna Maryland PPO the Top Performing Health Plan in Maryland.
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Cigna on its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List.
How does Cigna's Medicare Advantage insurance work?
Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage beyond what Parts A and B provide, and you have the ability to choose between a variety of coverage options, benefits, and price points to suit your individual needs.
Unlike those who receive their benefits through Medicare Part A and Part B, Advantage plan members typically are restricted to a local network of providers. The good news is that these plans often provide extra benefits with low or $0 monthly premiums. Certain services may require referrals or pre-authorization before they are covered. Most of Cigna's plans also offer prescription drug coverage, which takes the place of Medicare Part D.
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, which is the time window encompassing three months before or after your 65th birthday (unless you qualify earlier due to a disability). You may switch Advantage plans during the Open Enrollment Period each year or return to Medicare Parts A and B if you choose.
It's easy to enroll with Cigna. You can request a quote and enroll online in a simple, straightforward process.
What Medicare Advantage plans does Cigna offer?
While the details of each plan will vary according to where you live, listed below are the main characteristics of the most popular plans from Cigna:
Cigna-Healthspring Preferred (HMO)
As a member of an HMO, you will be restricted to a local network of providers and services. The plan offers a low or $0 monthly premium and $0 primary care doctor visits along with $0 monthly premium prescription drug coverage. If you require a specialist's care, you'll need to get a referral from your primary care physician. The plan provides limited coverage of hearing, vision, and preventive and comprehensive dental care as well. It does not cover extras like chiropractic or massage services.
Bottom line: This is a practical and cost-conscious plan that provides adequate coverage without a lot of extras, but may be lacking in flexibility and convenience.
Cigna-Healthspring Alliance (HMO)
The Alliance HMO is similar to the Preferred plan, but has a higher yearly maximum of out-of-pocket costs. It still offers a low or $0 monthly premium, low or $0 deductibles, and prescription drug coverage. It requires in-network care and offers limited coverage of hearing, vision, and dental care.
Bottom line: Just like the Preferred plan, this plan is an option that provides sufficient in-network coverage, but doesn't give you out-of-network options or extra perks.
Cigna-HealthSpring Premier (HMO-POS)
Similar to a PPO, an HMO-POS plan allows you to receive care out of your network. If you do receive care out of network, it is important to note that you will pay more for those services. You also will be responsible for a low monthly premium, but will have a lower in-network maximum for out-of-pocket costs each year. You will have coverage for routine and comprehensive vision, hearing, and dental care, as well as extra benefits like fitness memberships, virtual doctor visits, and a 24-hour health information hotline.
Bottom line: This plan is a sensible option if you're looking for more flexibility and extra benefits beyond what the HMO provides. You may pay a little more, but this is still a budget-friendly choice.
Cigna-HealthSpring TotalCare (HMO SNP)
Cigna also has several Special Needs Plans available to those meeting certain criteria. This is Cigna's most popular offering, which is available to members who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. The plan functions like an HMO, but the costs are dramatically reduced.
Bottom line: If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid and don't mind the HMO model, this plan will be a very cost-effective plan for you.
How do Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans compare to other insurance providers?
Cigna provides insurance coverage to 86 million people worldwide, making it the seventh-largest Medicare Advantage plan provider in the United States. The company is well-respected and has a robust network of providers and services, as well as a long history of quality service.
The majority of Cigna's offerings are HMOs, which are generally more affordable but more restrictive than other plans. As the market continues to expand and more seniors opt for Advantage plans, Cigna does aim to offer more choice and flexibility to its members through PPOs.
What sets Cigna Medicare plans apart?
Cigna offers quality Medicare coverage at an affordable price. The company outperforms competitors in its ability to offer a variety of plans for those with special needs. Most of Cigna's plans also offer prescription drug coverage.
Cigna might be the right insurance provider for you if:
You're on a tight budget.
You are eligible for a Special Needs Plan.
You're looking for an all-in-one plan that includes prescription coverage.
How does pricing work with Cigna, and can I get discounts?
Nearly 90 percent of Cigna plans will offer $0 premiums. You still have to pay the standard Medicare Part B premium of $144.60, which is required no matter which Advantage plan you choose.
You will be responsible for certain copays, but many of Cigna's HMOs do not require you to meet deductibles for health or drug spending.
How do I know if I am eligible and can enroll in a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan?
If you're eligible for Medicare and live in the United States, you can enroll in an Advantage plan. You will need to sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period or change plans during the yearly Open Enrollment Period.
The availability of Advantage plans varies by the location in which you live. Residents of highly populated areas may have 30 to 60 plans to choose from, while those living in less populated areas tend to have fewer plans available to them. The good news is that 96 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to plans from two or more insurance carriers.
To enroll in a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan, visit Cigna online.
Best for easy application
Cigna offers a user-friendly online experience
Free premium plans
Nearly 90 percent of Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 monthly premiums.
Prescription drug coverage
Most of Cigna's plans offer prescription drug coverage
By: Courtney Schmidt
Courtney Schmidt is a medical communications professional and clinical pharmacist with pediatric and adult hospital experience.