Cigna Medicare Advantage Reviews

Cigna is generally regarded as a reputable health insurance company offering a variety of low-cost Medicare Advantage plans in 29 states and Washington, D.C. However, they receive a high volume of consumer complaints and their CMS star ratings are declining.
By . Last update: June 11, 2024

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Cigna Medicare Advantage Reviews
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Cigna, a prominent player in the national healthcare insurance market, offers a range of Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans designed to provide comprehensive coverage beyond standard Medicare. Known for their robust network of healthcare providers and additional benefits, Cigna’s plans cater to the diverse needs of people on Medicare.[1]

In this editorial review, we’ll delve into Cigna’s top Medicare Advantage plans, exploring their coverage options, costs, network of doctors and hospitals, and customer feedback. This analysis will help you understand the advantages and potential drawbacks of choosing Cigna for your healthcare needs.

Table of Contents

Member Reviews for Cigna

The following Cigna reviews have been left by our members.

Medicare Advantage Search and compare Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.

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PROS

  1. Zero-Dollar Premiums: Many plans offer $0 premiums, making them accessible for a range of budgets.
  2. Highly Rated: Generally high star ratings from CMS, indicating good plan quality and customer satisfaction.
  3. Comprehensive Coverage: Often includes benefits not covered by Original Medicare, such as dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drugs.
  4. Cost Savings: Many plans have lower out-of-pocket costs compared to traditional Medicare, including reduced copayments and deductibles.
  5. Additional Perks: Extras like fitness programs, wellness incentives, and telehealth services at no additional cost.
  6. Extensive Network: A broad network of healthcare providers, ensuring access to a wide range of doctors, specialists, and hospitals.
  7. Care Coordination: Care management programs that help coordinate healthcare services, potentially improving outcomes and reducing costs.

CONS

  1. Network Restrictions: Some plans may require beneficiaries to use in-network providers, which can limit choice and flexibility.
  2. Prior Authorization Requirements: Certain services and treatments may need prior authorization, potentially delaying care.
  3. Plan Limitations: Benefits like dental and vision may have annual limits or restrictions, leading to extra out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Geographic Limitations: Plans may not be available in all areas, limiting options for beneficiaries in certain regions.
  5. Annual Changes: Plan offerings, including premiums, benefits, and provider networks, can change annually.
  6. NCQA Scores: Some plans may have lower National Committee for Quality Assurance scores, indicating areas for improvement.
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How Do Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans Work?

Cigna Medicare Advantage plan members receive all of their Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) benefits through their plan. This includes preventive care, screenings, vaccinations, doctor and specialist visits, and inpatient care.

All Cigna Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for:

  • Inpatient hospital admissions.
  • Doctor and specialist care.
  • Preventive care, screenings, and vaccinations.
  • Diagnostic services, lab work, X-rays and other imaging.
  • Outpatient services.
  • Ambulance transportation for emergencies.
  • Durable medical supplies and equipment.

Medicare rules say that all Cigna plans must provide at least the same coverage and benefits as Original Medicare. But, each plan sets its own out-of-pocket costs.

Additional benefits like routine dental, vision, hearing, and wellness programs are included in some Cigna plans. Original Medicare does not typically cover these services.

When you join a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan, you can manage all your healthcare needs under one plan. This often comes with lower out-of-pocket costs and extra benefits suited to your health and lifestyle.

However, it's important to note that lower costs aren't guaranteed. Costs depend on the specific plan and how much you use healthcare services. Also, the Cigna plan you choose may have access restrictions, such as needing referrals and prior authorization. Original Medicare does not have these restrictions.

Extra Benefits from Cigna

Most Cigna Medicare Advantage plans include an allowance for dental, vision, and hearing benefits. Other common additional benefits offered by Cigna may include:

  • Part B Giveback: Some plans cover part or all of your Part B monthly premium.
  • Healthy Foods Card: Provides a small allowance for approved foods at participating stores.
  • Meal Delivery Services: Offers meal delivery after hospital stays or for specific health conditions.
  • Fitness Programs: Access to fitness programs like Silver&Fit or other wellness programs.
  • Insulin Savings Programs: Available in plans with Part D, offering savings on insulin.
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) Allowances: Provides an allowance for over-the-counter pharmacy items.

What Types of Plans Does Cigna Offer?

Not all Cigna plans are the same. And, Cigna may not offer all plan types where you live, so it pays to explore using our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder tool. Here are the plan types Cigna offers:[6]

Medicare preferred provider organization (PPO) plans provide the most freedom, allowing you to see any provider that accepts the insurance. With a PPO plan, you generally do not need to choose a primary care doctor, and you don’t need referrals to see specialists. And you can seek out-of-network care, although it may cost more than seeing an in-network doctor.

Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans require that you use a specific network of doctors and hospitals. Also, with a Cigna HMO plan you may need a referral from your primary care doctor in order to see a specialist. Out-of-network benefits are usually very limited. However, in an emergency you are not limited to care from your local hospital of emergency room.

HMO point-of-service plans are HMO plans that allow members to get some out-of-network services, but you’ll pay more for those services.

NOTE: Cigna may also offer Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNPs). Due to the highly specialized nature of D-SNP (dual eligible), C-SNP (chronic condition), and I-SNP (institutional) insurance plans, we review them separately.

How Much Do Cigna Plans Cost?

Your costs in a Cigna plan will depend on the specific plan selected, your location, your usage of plan services, and the plan’s out-of-pocket costs. Detailed information about out-of-pocket costs for all Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans is available in our plan finder.

Generally, Cigna will charge you a monthly premium, which can vary based on the level of coverage and additional benefits included. You must also continue to pay your Part B premium. If you're a high-income earner, Medicare may add a Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) to your premium.[5]

Cigna’s monthly premiums are highly dependent on where you live. For instance, the average cost of a Medicare Advantage plan from Cigna in Colorado is $0.00 per month, but in Maryland the average cost is $44.00 per month. These averages do not include Special Needs Plans.

Cigna's Premiums vs. Competitors

The following list shows Cigna's nationwide average monthly premium (excluding Special Needs Plans) vs. several competitors.

Cigna
$13.97
Aetna
$7.75
Wellcare
$17.39
Anthem
$10.11
AARP
$22.97

You might also encounter copayments or coinsurance for healthcare services, including doctor visits and hospital stays. In each Cigna plan we assessed, the costs differed based on the coverage level and the specific services received.

Some plans may offer $0 premiums or low copayments for certain services, while others may have higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs. It's important to carefully review the costs and coverage details of each plan option to find the one that best fits your budget and healthcare needs.[7]

We analyzed the following popular Cigna plans to give you an idea of what members pay to use healthcare services. This is just a sample, use our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder to see plans and costs where you live.

Important costs for plan ID H0354-001-0 reviewed in Maricopa County, AZ.
  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Out-of-pocket max: $2,300
  • Primary Care: $$0
  • Specialist: $$0
  • Tier 1 Prescriptions: $10.00 copay, $0 deductible
  • Urgent Care: $$0
  • Emergency Room: $$0
  • Ground Ambulance: $$0
  • Inpatient Care:
  • Extra Benefits: None
Important costs for plan ID H0354-028-0 reviewed in Maricopa County, AZ.
  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Out-of-pocket max: $2,500
  • Primary Care: $$0
  • Specialist: $$0
  • Tier 1 Prescriptions: $10.00 copay, $0 deductible
  • Urgent Care: $$0
  • Emergency Room: $$0
  • Ground Ambulance: $$0
  • Inpatient Care:
  • Extra Benefits: None
Important costs for plan ID H0354-029-0 reviewed in Maricopa County, AZ.
  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Out-of-pocket max: $3,500
  • Primary Care: $$0
  • Specialist: $$0
  • Tier 1 Prescriptions: $10.00 copay, $0 deductible
  • Urgent Care: $$0
  • Emergency Room: $$0
  • Ground Ambulance: $$0
  • Inpatient Care:
  • Extra Benefits: None

Is Cigna a Good Medicare Advantage Plan?

Cigna offers Medicare Advantage plans for a a variety of diverse needs. The quality of a Cigna plan can depend on factors like your individual health requirements, budget, and personal preferences. Consumers are advised to carefully evaluate plan benefits and costs before enrolling.

Several consumer intelligence companies and review websites monitor and report on health insurance companies. Here’s a look at Cigna’s performance according to these sources.

J.D. Power Ranking: In its 2023 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power assessed member satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans based on eight factors, including trust and problem resolution. The study covered the five largest Medicare markets: California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Cigna ranked second among major providers in Texas, one of the four markets where Cigna offers plans.[2]

Better Business Bureau (BBB) & Trustpilot: Cigna scores poorly on both Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau website. However, they  have a good track record of resolving consumer complaints.

ConsumerAffairs: Reviews on ConsumerAffairs reveal mixed feedback. Some customers praise Cigna for its comprehensive coverage and helpful customer service, while others mention issues with claims processing and network restrictions. The overall sentiment is somewhat positive but varies by individual experience.

NCQA Health Plan Score: The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) rates health plans on a 5-point scale based on quality of care, patient satisfaction, and the plans' efforts to improve. In its 2023 ratings, Cigna’s plans received scores ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 stars, indicating somewhat below average performance in these areas, contradicting J.D. Powers claims.[4]

AM Best Financial Strength Rating: AM Best, a credit rating agency, assesses the financial stability of insurance companies. Cigna holds an A (Excellent) rating from AM Best, reflecting its strong ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.[3]

Our comprehensive analysis shows that Cigna’s Medicare Advantage plans are generally well-regarded. However, the overall consumer sentiment and high volume of consumer complaints led us to rate Cigna lower that their core competitors. However, there is good news for Cigna Medicare Advantage plan members coming with the sale of Cigna Medicare to HSCS, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association member.

Cigna's Medicare Star Ratings

Cigna's average 5-star rating: 3.75*
*Our calculation is weighted by enrollments in public plans, excluding Special Needs Plans, with CMS star ratings across 13 contracts covering 593,753 members.

To understand the government's perspective on the quality of Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans, you can refer to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' star ratings. These ratings grade each plan on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) stars, based on quality of care and customer satisfaction. The ratings are updated annually.[9]

All Medicare Advantage plans are evaluated on CMS's health plan measures. Plans that include prescription drug coverage are also evaluated on drug plan measures. Based on the most recent year of data and weighted by enrollment, Cigna’s 2024 Medicare Advantage plans get an average rating of 3.75 stars.[9] [11]

As of January 1, 2024, 66% of Cigna members are enrolled in contracts with a Medicare star rating of 4 stars or higher.

You can view all plan ratings in your area with our Medicare Advantage Plan Finder tool.

Plan Availability

Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans are offered in 29 states and the District of Columbia, including:

AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, and WA.

Overall, Cigna provides coverage in 0 out of 3,140 U.S. counties.[8]

Cigna's Top Plans

Here's a list of Cigna's most popular plans (by enrollments):[9][10]

Medicare Advantage Search and compare Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.

Find Plans in your area with your ZIP Code

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the most frequently asked questions we found about Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans:

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a zero-dollar monthly premium because what Medicare pays the plan, plus your Medicare Part B premium, cover the full cost. For healthy people who want to keep their monthly costs low, these plans are an attractive option. But, just be aware that the premium is not the only cost. Plans also have copays or coinsurance you must pay when you use services. To learn more about free Medicare Advantage plans, read Why are Some Medicare Advantage Plans Free?

MA Plan Pros

  1. The maximum out-of-pocket cost is $7,550 a year
  2. Many plans cost $0 extra a month
  3. Most plans include drug coverage
  4. Many include basic hearing, dental, and vision benefits
  5. May include gym discounts (Silver Sneakers)

MA Plan Cons
  1. Can only switch during Open Enrollment
  2. Not easy to compare because plans are not standardized
  3. No nationwide coverage (plans don't travel with you)
  4. Most are HMO plans that require referrals to see a specialist
  5. Plans can change health and drug coverage each year

Learn more in this article.

Original Medicare is a Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) health insurance system. Beneficiaries can use any healthcare provider that accepts Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans are a form of managed care health insurance, including HMOs and PPOs. As such, they have networks of doctors and hospitals that plan members use to receive care. With Original Medicare, the federal government pays about 80% of all Medicare-approved costs and the beneficiary pays the remaining 20% out-of-pocket. However, the 20% gap in coverage can be supplemented with a Medigap plan. With Medicare Advantage, members must pay all copays out-of-pocket until spending reaches the plan maximum, which can be up to $7,550. To learn more about how plans work, read How Does Medicare Advantage Work.

Researching your health plan options is important. Here are some key questions to consider before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan as well as additional companies to read about:

Key Questions

All plans potentially have monthly premiums, deductibles, copayments, and/or coinsurance, including plans from Cigna. Are these costs within your budget?

  • Does the plan cover your prescriptions? Knowing how a plan covers them is important if you have regular prescriptions because costs and coverage vary widely from plan to plan.
  • Are your doctors in the plan’s network? If you have preferred providers, ensure they participate in the plan’s network.
  • Is routine dental, vision, and hearing covered? Traditional Medicare doesn’t cover these services. If you need it, be sure to explore plans that cover it.
  • What extras does the plan include? Plans may include many beneficial extras, like gym memberships (SilverSneakers), medical transportation, meal delivery, telehealth, and more.

If you have additional questions, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

About Cigna

Headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Cigna is a global health services company offering a range of insurance products. Its offerings include Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C), Medicare Part D Plans (prescription drug plans), Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap plans), individual and family health insurance, and dental and vision plans.

Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans Become HSCS Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2025

In a significant move, Cigna has announced the sale of its Medicare Advantage business to Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC) for $3.7 billion. This transaction is expected to streamline Cigna's focus on its core businesses while allowing HCSC to expand its Medicare footprint. The deal includes the transfer of approximately 600,000 members, bolstering HCSC's presence in the Medicare Advantage market. Cigna has emphasized that this strategic divestiture will enable it to concentrate more on employer-based health insurance and other areas of growth. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second half of the year, pending regulatory approvals.

References:

  1. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/cigna-sell-medicare-advantage-plans-health-care-services-corp-37-bln-2023-02-14/
  2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/cigna-to-sell-medicare-business-to-health-care-services-corp-for-3-7-billion-11644829201

 

 

You can enroll in a Cigna plan in your area during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) at age 65, during the annual Open Enrollment Period (Oct 15 - Dec 7), or during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Medicare grants SEPs based on special circumstances, such as moving or losing employer coverage.

Company
Cigna Healthcare℠
Phone Number
855-984-1401
Website
https://www.cigna.com/medicare/
Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/CIGNA
X (Twitter) Page
https://twitter.com/Cigna

Citations

MedicareWire uses trustworthy sources to inform its work, including government websites, government data, actuarial service data, consumer intelligence websites, and peer-reviewed studies. All content is fact-checked for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance. We used the following information sources in this review: