Cigna Medicare Advantage 2023 Review

Cigna offers low-cost Medicare Advantage plans with ratings that match the industry average.

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Cigna is the seventh largest provider of Medicare Advantage

, offering plans in just over half of U.S. states. The insurer also offers stand-alone Medicare drug plans nationwide.

Cigna offers a lot of $0-premium Medicare Advantage plans — at least one in every market the provider serves. Although most of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage members are in highly rated plans, the company’s offerings don’t always get top marks from third-party rating agencies.

Here’s what you should know about Cigna Medicare Advantage.

Cigna Medicare Advantage pros and cons

Cigna’s offerings have advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Low-cost options: More than 8 in 10 (81%) of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage offerings are $0-premium plans.

  • Prescription drug plans widely available: Cigna offers three stand-alone prescription drug plans that are available in all states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

  • Breadth of benefits: Cigna offers a number of helpful member benefits, such as 24/7 telehealth, meal delivery and transportation to and from health facilities.

Cons

  • Sliding member satisfaction: Cigna Health, a Cigna subsidiary, came in eighth out of nine Medicare Advantage providers in J.D. Power’s latest Medicare Advantage study on member satisfaction. That’s a fall from third place in 2021.

  • Limited plan types: Although Cigna does have PPO plans, a majority of the company’s Medicare Advantage plans are HMOs, which require members to get most of their care from in-network providers.

  • Limited availability: Cigna Medicare Advantage plans are available in 28 states and Washington, D.C., only.

  • Third-party ratings: The National Committee for Quality Assurance doesn’t give any Cigna plan a rating higher than 3.5 out of 5 on its ratings scale.

Available Medicare Advantage plans

Cigna offers a few kinds of Medicare Advantage plans, and they vary in terms of structure, costs and benefits. Cigna offers Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans, or MAPDs, as well as stand-alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans without drug coverage.

Plan offerings include the following types:

A health maintenance organization, or HMO, generally requires that you use a specific network of doctors and hospitals. You may need a referral from your primary doctor to see a specialist, and out-of-network benefits are usually limited.

Preferred provider organization, or PPO, plans provide the most freedom, allowing you to see any provider that accepts the insurance. You may not need to choose a primary doctor, and you don’t need referrals to see specialists. You can seek out-of-network care, although it may cost more than seeing an in-network doctor.

Special needs plans, or SNPs, restrict membership to people with certain diseases or characteristics. Hence, the benefits, network and drug formularies are tailored to the needs of those members. Cigna offers three types of SNPs:

  • Chronic Condition SNP: Designed to meet the needs of members living with certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

  • Dual-Eligible SNP: For people who are entitled to Medicare and who also qualify for assistance from a state Medicaid program.

Additional benefits

Cigna Medicare Advantage offers many members access to routine vision, dental and hearing coverage. Some plans offer other benefits as well. Here are a few standouts, although their availability varies by plan:

  • 24/7 telehealth: Members with minor medical issues can speak to a medical professional any time of day.

  • Over-the-counter allowance: Some plans include an OTC quarterly allowance that you can use to order items like aspirin, cold medicine and vitamins from Cigna’s OTC catalog. (You can shop online, over the phone or by mail.)

  • Transportation services: Some plans include a certain number of nonemergency, one-way trips to or from health facilities within 60 miles.

  • Silver&Fit Healthy Aging and Exercise Program: Some plans provide a fitness center membership or a home fitness program, depending on your needs.

  • Home-delivered meals: Some plans include the option to have meals delivered to your home after you’ve been discharged from an acute inpatient hospital stay or skilled nursing facility stay.

  • Cigna Case Management: Members with chronic conditions like diabetes or epilepsy can apply to this program; it helps them manage their condition using a team of nurses, pharmacists, health coaches and others.

  • Medication Therapy Management Program: Members with certain conditions who take specific medications can enroll in this program. The program may lower the risk of medication errors and help you make the most of your treatment.

  • Companionship benefits: New last year and expanded this year, some members may be paired with a companion to keep them company or help with daily tasks.

  • Part B rebates: About a quarter of Cigna’s plans offer a rebate of up to $130 that can be put toward that member’s Part B monthly premium or other expenses.

Customer service

Cigna Medicare Advantage members can contact their plan’s customer service in a few ways:

  • Call a customer service representative at 800-997-1654, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (TTY/TDD dial 711 and follow the prompts.)

  • Chat with a member services representative, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

  • Contact Cigna through Facebook.

  • Contact Cigna through Twitter.

Cigna Medicare Advantage service area

Cigna offers Medicare Advantage plans in 28 states (New York and Kentucky are new in 2023) and Washington, D.C. It offers Medicare prescription drug plans in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Altogether, Cigna offers Medicare Advantage plans in 581 counties

.

Overall, Cigna is the fourth-largest health insurer in the country

. More than half a million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Cigna Medicare Advantage plans as of October 2022.

Cost

Costs for Medicare Advantage plans will depend on your plan, your geographic location and your health needs. One of the costs to consider is the plan’s premium, and Cigna offers a $0-premium plan in every market in 2023. In fact, more than 8 in 10 of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage plans are $0-premium plans

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 MA Landscape Source File (v 10 14 2022) (ZIP). Accessed Nov 9, 2022.
.

For Medicare Advantage plans with a premium, the monthly consolidated premium (including Part C and Part D) ranges from $16.50 to $118. For special needs plans with a premium, monthly premiums range from $7 to $79

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 SNP Landscape Source File (v 10 14 2022) (ZIP). Accessed Nov 9, 2022.
.

Even as a Medicare Advantage user, you’ll still be responsible for paying your Medicare Part B premium, which is $170.10 per month in 2022 ($164.90 in 2023), although some plans cover part or all of this cost.

Other out-of-pocket costs to consider include:

  • Whether the plan covers any part of your monthly Medicare Part B premium.

  • The plan’s yearly deductibles and any other deductibles, such as a drug deductible.

  • Copayments and/or coinsurance for each visit or service. For instance, there may be a $10 copay for seeing your primary doctor and a $45 copay for seeing a specialist.

  • The plan’s in-network and out-of-network out-of-pocket maximums.

  • Whether your medical providers are in-network or out-of-network, or how often you may go out of network for care.

  • Whether you require extra benefits, and if the plan charges for them.

To get a sense of costs, use Medicare’s Plan Finder to compare information among available plans in your area. You can select by insurance carrier to see only Cigna plans or compare across carriers. You can also shop directly from Cigna’s website by entering your ZIP code.

Medicare star ratings

Average star rating, weighted by enrollment: 4.15

If you want Medicare’s take on Cigna’s plans, look no further than the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' own star ratings, which rank each plan from best (5 stars) to worst (1 star). The agency bases these ratings on plans’ quality of care and measurements of customer satisfaction, and ratings may change from year to year.

All Medicare Advantage plans are evaluated on health plan measures, and Medicare Advantage 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 2023 Medicare Advantage plans get an average rating of 4.15 stars

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 Star Ratings Data Table (ZIP). Accessed Nov 9, 2022.
.

Cigna's weighted average star rating is the same as the average for plans from all providers: 4.15

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 Medicare Star Ratings Fact Sheet (PDF). Accessed Nov 9, 2022.
.

While a few plans have lower ratings, most of Cigna’s members are in highly rated plans. Of members who are in contracts with a Medicare star rating, 84% are in contracts rated 4.0 or above as of October 2022

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Monthly Enrollment by Contract, 2022-10. Accessed Nov 9, 2022.
.

To get an overall star rating, the CMS ranks contracts on 40 plan factors. (You can find definitions for each of these factors in the CMS Star Ratings Technical Notes.) Here’s where Cigna plans received average scores of 4.5 (out of 5) and above:

  • Care for older adults — medication review.

  • Care for older adults — pain assessment.

  • Diabetes care — kidney disease monitoring.

  • Diabetes care — blood sugar controlled.

  • Medication reconciliation post-discharge.

  • Plan makes timely decisions about appeals.

  • Reviewing appeals decisions.

  • Medicare Plan Finder price accuracy.

Cigna contracts averaged a sub-3.0 score in three categories. (You can find definitions for each of these factors in the CMS Star Ratings Technical Notes.)

  • Osteoporosis management in women who had a fracture.

  • Health plan: Customer service.

  • Health plan: Members choosing to leave the plan.

  • Health plan quality improvement.

  • Drug plan: Members choosing to leave the plan.

  • Drug plan quality improvement.

  • Medication adherence for diabetes medications.

  • Medication adherence for cholesterol (statins).

You can find a plan’s rating with the Medicare plan finding tool.

Third-party ratings

There are a few companies that weigh in on health plans or on the strength of the company in question, and we’ve included three here:

AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)

AM Best is a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry. In June 2022, AM Best affirmed its Financial Strength Rating, or FSR, of A (Excellent) for Cigna Corporation, including its U.S. life/health subsidiaries, health maintenance organizations and Europe-based insurance companies. AM Best also affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) for Medco Containment Group and Cigna HealthSpring Companies, which are Cigna subsidiaries

.

An A rating in this category indicates that AM Best believes Cigna has an excellent ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.

J.D. Power Ranking: 8th out of 9

In its 2022 Medicare Advantage Study — the eighth it's done so far — J.D. Power measured member satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans based on six factors: coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. On these measures, Cigna Health, a Cigna subsidiary, scored 790 points out of 1,000 and came in eighth out of nine Medicare Advantage providers

.

NCQA Score Range: 2.5 to 3.5 out of 5

The National Committee for Quality Assurance rates health insurance plans on a 5-point scale (with 5 being best) based on clinical quality, member satisfaction and results from the NCQA's accreditation survey. The ratings highlight the results of care and what patients say about their care.

In its September 2022 ratings of Cigna plans, the NCQA awarded ratings between 2.5 and 3.5. The three plans that received a 2.5 were Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis and HealthSpring of Tennessee (doing business as Cigna HealthSpring of Illinois)

NCQA. Health Plans. Accessed Nov 9, 2022.
.

Compare Medicare Advantage providers

Get more information below about some of the major Medicare Advantage providers. These insurers offer plans in most states. The plans you can choose from will depend on your ZIP code and county.

About Cigna

Cigna, headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, was created in 1982 when the companies of Connecticut General Corporation, or CG, and the Insurance Company of North America — known as INA — merged. Cigna offers health insurance for individuals and families, dental insurance, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and other insurance coverage such as whole life and cancer treatment insurance. The company also offers insurance for businesses. In 2021, Cigna posted $174.1 billion in adjusted revenues.

Read the NerdWallet reviews of these other Cigna Medicare offerings:

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).
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