Cigna Medicare Insurance Review

Ultra-low Medicare Advantage premiums, but issues with customer satisfaction

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Cigna

 Cigna

Investopedia’s Rating
3.9

Our Take

Cigna’s Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have the lowest average premium of all major providers. They have decent Medicare star ratings, but were ranked poorly by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction and poorly by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Only about a quarter of MA plans offer additional coverage during the Medicare coverage gap or donut hole, which makes them less suitable for those who spend a lot on prescription medications.

But Cigna offers valuable standalone Part D prescription drug coverage if you have Original Medicare. It also has extensive options for managing your policy and getting in touch with customer service.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low Medicare Advantage premiums

  • Good value prescription drug coverage

  • Good value Medicare Advantage plans in Florida

  • 24/7 customer service and live web chat

Cons
  • Expensive Medigap Plan G

  • Most Medicare Advantage plans don’t offer additional gap coverage

  • Low NCQA star rating

  • Poor J.D. Power ranking

Company Overview

Cigna’s history dates back to 1792, when Insurance Company of North America (INA) was formed. When INA and Connecticut General Corporation combined operations in 1982, Cigna was founded. Cigna has a presence in more than 30 countries and has more than 190 million customers and patients. The company offers Medicare Advantage plans in 26 states and Washington, D.C. and provides prescription drug plans nationwide.

  • Year Founded 1982
  • Kinds of Policies Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
  • Customer Service 1-800-997-1654
  • Official Website https://www.cigna.com/medicare/
Cigna

 Cigna

Investopedia’s Rating
3.9
Table of Contents
Cigna Medicare Insurance Review

Pros Explained

  • Low Medicare Advantage premiums: For 2023, Cigna’s average premium across Medicare Advantage plans is $5.23 per month. This is the lowest premium of all major providers. The second lowest is $9.48 per month with Wellcare.
  • Good value prescription drug coverage: Cigna offers two plans with low premiums and low copays on generics, as well as a more extensive plan that offers donut hole coverage and a $0 deductible for most drugs.
  • Good value Medicare Advantage plans in Florida: In Florida, Cigna offers highly rated Medicare Advantage plans with low out-of-pocket maximums, $0 premiums, and $0 deductibles. Florida Medicare Advantage plans appear to be an exception to the relatively high average out-of-pocket maximum on Cigna plans overall.
  • 24/7 customer service and live web chat: You can call Cigna at any time, plus access an online portal with a live web chat.

Cons Explained

  • Expensive Medigap Plan G: Besides Aetna, Cigna was the priciest of the Medicare Supplement providers we reviewed for its Medicare supplement Plan G. 
  • Most Medicare Advantage plans don’t offer additional gap coverage: Cigna’s Part C plans may leave you vulnerable to high costs during the coverage gap if you have extensive prescription needs. This is because very few of them offer additional prescription drug coverage in the Medicare coverage gap. If you get Extra Help, that may not be an issue for you. 
  • Poor J.D. Power ranking: Cigna ranked second-to-last in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study, which indicates the company has some issues with customer satisfaction.

Third-Party Ratings

Cigna’s Medicare Advantage plans are well-rated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, with a 4.1 star average rating. However, the company fared poorly in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study, coming in second to last, with a score of 790 out of 1,000. The industry average score was 809, while the top scoring company earned an 844. 

Cigna’s prescription drug plans received a 3.5 out of 5 star average CMS rating. And the overall NCQA rating, which reflects member experiences across all Medicare plans, is only 3.1 out of 5. 

But Cigna received an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, an independent credit ratings agency that evaluates insurers. AM Best ratings are important because a high grade predicts a high likelihood that the company can pay claims to policyholders in the future. 

Policies Available

Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plan

Medicare Advantage plans provide Part A and Part B benefits. They are offered by private companies, like Cigna, that must adhere to Medicare rules. Most Cigna plans also include prescription drug coverage, and some include dental and vision coverage. 

Most plans from Cigna come with $0 copays for primary care doctor visits. Cigna offers HMO plans, which require you to use in-network doctors and hospitals, and PPO plans, which provide more flexibility. Cigna also offers a dual special needs plan (D-SNP) for people who are also eligible to receive Medicaid. These plans do not include additional prescription drug coverage during the donut hole or coverage gap. 

Part D Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Part D is designed to provide prescription drug coverage for people with Medicare Part A and/or Part B, or people who have certain Medicare Advantage plans without drug coverage. All of Cigna’s prescription drug plans offer a $0 deductible for some generics, and free mail delivery is available with $0 copays for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs. 

You should calculate the total cost of your prescriptions when comparing plans. Cigna offers a tool that lets you add your drugs and pharmacies to compare costs. 

Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

Cigna offers Medicare Supplement Plan G, which is the most extensive, along with a high-deductible version; plus Plan N, Plan A, and Plan F (also available with a high-deductible). However, Cigna’s Medigap Plan G is more expensive than many other insurers’ supplement plans. 

Plan F is only available to people who became eligible for Medicare before 2020.

Medigap coverage is designed to help with copays, coinsurance, and deductibles not covered by Medicare to keep costs low. Most Medigap policies also cover you when you travel outside the U.S. Medicare supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies, but they are standardized. Identified by letters in most states, these plans offer the same basic coverage across insurers, though some may come with additional benefits as well. 

You may be able to get lower-cost Medigap coverage from higher-rated companies than Cigna. Check out our list of the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies

Cost

Overall pricing for Medicare Advantage plans from Cigna is better than average for the industry. It offers the lowest average premium of all major providers, at $5.23 per month in 2023, and a low average drug deductible of $50.67. It’s the lowest cost plan provider in our list of the Best Medicare Advantage Plans of 2023.  

Cigna offers two budget-friendly Part D plans with low premiums and low copays, neither of which provide coverage during the gap. For people who need more extensive coverage, Cigna also offers the Cigna Extra Rx prescription drug plan, which has no more than a $100 deductible for any drug tier, and which offers additional coverage for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs during the gap. Cigna offers great value coverage, which is one reason it’s named one of the Best Medicare Part D Providers.

Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, Cigna offers some of the most extensive options of the insurance companies we reviewed. The company offers customer service and website support by phone 24/7, 365 days a year. And once you have a Cigna account, you’ll get 24/7 access to MyCigna, an online portal that allows you to complete many actions online—and offers a live web chat in case you need help. You can reach Cigna at one of the following phone numbers:

General customer service: 1-800-997-1654

Website assistance: 1-800-853-2713

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans

  • New customers: 1-855-984-1401
  • Policyholders: 1-800-668-3813
  • Arizona policyholders: 1-800-627-7534

Cigna prescription drug plans

  • New customers: 1-877-459-3353
  • Policyholders: 1-800-222-6700

Cigna Medicare Supplement plans

  • New customers: 1-888-482-6557
  • Policyholders: 1-866-459-4272

Methodology

Literature Review

We identified top companies by market share within the industry offering Medicare plans from various business and market insight databases including Statistia, Plunkett, and Gale. We also considered user-generated data from Google to determine public interest and trends in Medicare plans. 

Data Collection and Verification

Our data was collected through third-party rating agencies, official government websites and databases, and directly from companies via websites, media contacts, and existing partnerships. Our sources include: AM Best, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), J.D. Power, and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

Data was verified to ensure data integrity and accuracy by cross-referencing the records and citation corresponding to each data point with our primary sources.

Ratings Methodology

We calculated star ratings for the quality of each company’s plan types. Factors considered for companies offering Medicare plans were: 

  • Plan quality and customer satisfaction: CMS and NCQA ratings were considered to measure these criteria. Each organization independently rates the quality of Medicare plans on a one-to-five scale to help people compare plans during open enrollment. 
  • Cost to value: This is a measure of plan value based on plan premiums, deductibles, maximum out-of-pocket amounts, whether additional drug coverage is offered in the Medicare gap, and star ratings.
  • Additional coverage offered in the Medicare gap: The coverage gap or "donut hole" refers to a period when there is a limit on drug coverage. During this time, members are responsible for up to 25% of brand name and generic drugs. You may spend less on prescription drugs if your plan provides additional coverage during the gap.
  • State availability: This measure indicates how widely available plans are across the U.S.
  • Additional plan benefits: This measure concerns additional benefits available, including vision, dental, hearing, non-emergency transportation, worldwide emergencies, gym memberships, and telehealth. 
  • Types of plans available: Insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans through managed care organizations, including HMOs and PPOs. This measure concerns the number of managed care options available.
Article Sources
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  1. J.D. Power. “2022 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study.”

  2. NCQA. “Health Plans.”