Cigna vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield: Medicare Advantage Comparison

Overall star ratings for Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield are similar, but quality varies among different BCBS companies.
Kate Ashford, CSA®
By Kate Ashford, CSA® 
Updated
Edited by Holly Carey

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Cigna Medicare Advantage offers plans in 29 states and Washington, D.C., and the company’s member experience ratings, including metrics like care coordination and customer service, are above average for major providers. Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is a collective of 33 independent companies, offers plans in most U.S. states, but ratings vary across companies. Benefits available also vary by BCBS company.

Here’s a look at how Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield compare.

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

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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.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage

Blue Cross Blue Shield

3.86

CMS Star Rating

Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are widely available and affordable, but some companies earn higher marks than others on member satisfaction.

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

48 states and Puerto Rico


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.39 (Above average)


States available

48 states and Puerto Rico


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.39 (Above average)


Pros

  • BCBS companies offer plans in 48 states and Puerto Rico.
  • $0-premium BCBS plans are available in 44 states and Puerto Rico.
  • BCBS plans offer extra benefits like chronic condition management and preloaded debit cards for over-the-counter items.

Cons

  • Ratings and member satisfaction vary among BCBS companies, and some score lower than others. You may not have access to a highly rated BCBS company.
  • BCBS companies offer special needs plans in only half of U.S. states.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

3rd-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

4.4 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

43%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

57%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, PFFS, 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

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