Aetna vs. Cigna: Medicare Advantage Comparison

Aetna is a larger Medicare Advantage provider and is available in more states, while Cigna has a higher percentage of $0-premium plans.
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Some Aetna Medicare Advantage members have access to cost help with dental, vision and hearing care, as well as a variety of other benefits, such as in-home health visits and meal delivery after a hospital stay.
Cigna Medicare Advantage members have access to a $0-premium plan in every Cigna market, and most of Cigna's members are in highly rated plans.

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

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Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna

4.14

CMS Star Rating

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

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

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from askchapter.org

States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.77 (Above average)


States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.77 (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 3.8 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

58%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

71%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Aetna Medicare Advantage service area

Cigna Medicare Advantage

Cigna Medicare Advantage

Cigna

3.75

CMS Star Rating

Cigna plans are low-cost and member experience scores are about average, but star ratings from 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

3.53 (Average)


States available

29 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.53 (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 580,000.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

46%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

83%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Cigna Medicare Advantage service area

Still deciding on the right carrier? Compare Medicare Advantage plans

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).

Medicare Advantage review methodology

The Medicare Advantage marketplace is concentrated among just a handful of companies; in many places, one insurer serves more than half of the market. NerdWallet reviewed 26 Medicare Advantage brands, with some insurers having more than one brand under their umbrella. (For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield includes the brands Anthem and Highmark.) At the national level, these reviews include nine of the 10 largest brands by enrollment. At the state level, our research includes at least one major insurer in 47 of the 49 states that offer Medicare Advantage plans, and includes the top two insurers in 35 of those states. (Alaska doesn't offer Medicare Advantage plans.) We also look at online search volume to identify regional and other notable players in the space.

NerdWallet’s Medicare Advantage reviews are based on ratings data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as pricing, plan availability by state, plan types available, consumer experience, extra benefits offered and more. These reviews are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several plans to find the best coverage and rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines for additional information.