Aetna vs. Cigna: Medicare Advantage Comparison

Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans in more states and enjoys slightly higher ratings, but Cigna’s ratings aren’t far behind.
Kate Ashford, CSA®
By Kate Ashford, CSA® 
Updated
Edited by Holly Carey

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

MORE LIKE THISMedicareInsurance

Aetna Medicare Advantage offers a strong menu of benefits with widely available plans and member experience ratings that are above the industry average. Aetna also covers more than six times the number of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries that Cigna covers.

Cigna Medicare Advantage offers plans in fewer states than Aetna, and Cigna’s overall member experience and star ratings are slightly lower than Aetna’s. Both providers offer Medicare Advantage plans targeted toward veterans, although Cigna’s Courage plans are available in 17 states and Aetna’s Eagle plans are available in 43 states. Cigna does have a plan in most of its markets that offers a Part B premium rebate.

Here’s a look at how Aetna and Cigna compare.

Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna

3.98

CMS Star Rating

Aetna Medicare Advantage plans are widely available and offer a variety of extra benefits. Member experience scores are also high, although star ratings fall just below the industry average.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on askchapter.org

GET A QUOTE

from askchapter.org

States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.79 (Above average)


States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.79 (Above average)


Pros

  • In addition to dental, vision and hearing, many plans offer perks like an over-the-counter allowance, meal delivery and in-home health visits.
  • More than 8 in 10 Medicare-eligible beneficiaries have access to a $0-premium Aetna plan.
  • Available in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction lands below industry average in some major Medicare markets.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

4th-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

More than 3.3 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

59%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

71%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Cigna Medicare Advantage

Cigna Medicare Advantage

Cigna

3.76

CMS Star Rating

Cigna plans are low-cost and member experience scores are higher than average, but star ratings from the CMS have declined.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on askchapter.org

GET A QUOTE

from askchapter.org

States available

29 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.49 (Above average)


States available

29 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.49 (Above average)


Pros

  • More than 8 in 10 Cigna plans are $0-premium plans.
  • Offers a range of member benefits, such as 24/7 telehealth, meal delivery and transportation to and from health facilities.

Cons

  • Below-average star ratings.
  • Available in only 29 states and Washington, D.C.
  • The National Committee for Quality Assurance gives all Cigna plans a score of 3.5 stars or lower on their 5-point scale.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

7th-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

More than 570,000.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

46%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

83%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Find the right Medicare Advantage plan

It’s important to do your research before selecting a Medicare Advantage plan for yourself. Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • What are the plan’s costs? Do you understand what the plan’s premium, deductibles, copays and/or coinsurance will be? Can you afford them?

  • Is your doctor in-network? If you have a preferred medical provider or providers, make sure they participate in the plan’s network.

  • Are your prescriptions covered? If you’re on medication, it’s crucial to understand how the plan covers it. What tier are your prescription drugs on, and are there any coverage rules that apply to them?

  • Is there dental coverage? Does the plan offer routine coverage for vision, dental and hearing needs?

  • Are there extras? Does the plan offer any extra benefits, such as fitness memberships, transportation benefits or meal delivery?

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

Still deciding on the right carrier? Compare Medicare Advantage plans

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.