Expert Review: Are Cigna Medicare Advantage Plans Good?

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans are cheap. But you might still pay a lot for medical care and the company's service isn't the best.

Cigna Medicare Advantage

Editor's Rating

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans are a good choice if you want a cheap plan that also gives you the flexibility to see any doctor. Cigna's average rates for Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C, are much lower than other companies. But Cigna struggles with customer service, and you might have to pay a lot when you visit the doctor.

Good for
  • Low rates
  • Doctor flexibility
  • Those with chronic pain or kidney disease
Bad for
  • Customer service
  • High overall costs

Cost of Cigna Medicare Advantage plans

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans are the cheapest available compared to other large companies.

In fact, Cigna is the best Medicare Advantage company if you want a cheap policy. The average monthly rate for a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan is $7. That's $11 per month cheaper than UnitedHealthcare, which sells the most Medicare Advantage plans nationwide. The average cost of a Medicare Advantage plan nationwide is $28 per month.

Cigna offers a $0 per month plan option in 27 out of the 28 states where it sells Medicare Advantage policies. Residents of Washington, D.C. also have a $0 plan option.

Cigna is a good choice if you want the flexibility of a PPO, but you still need a cheap plan. PPOs are better if you have extensive health needs or want the flexibility of going to any doctor, but they usually cost more than HMOs. However, Cigna's PPO plans cost an average of just $2 per month, compared to $10 per month for its HMO plans.

Cigna's monthly rates vary based on where you live. For example, the average cost of a Medicare Advantage plan from Cigna in Maryland is $45 per month. UnitedHealthcare sells cheaper Medicare Advantage plans than Cigna in the state.

Cigna Medicare Advantage cost vs. competitors

Company
Monthly rate
Cigna$7
Wellcare$11
UnitedHealthcare$18
Aetna$19
Humana$32
Show All Rows

*Average monthly rate for Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage


Cigna Medicare Advantage plan options

Cigna sells several different Medicare Advantage plans. To compare the plans, it helps to review the monthly rate, network type and costs you have to pay yourself. This method can help you decide if a plan is right for you.

Cigna Preferred Medicare HMO vs. Cigna True Choice Medicare PPO

The Cigna Preferred Medicare HMO and Cigna True Choice Medicare PPO are two of Cigna's most widely available plans. Both plans cost $0 per month, although you still have to pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium. Cigna True Choice Medicare PPO has a higher average out-of-pocket maximum, but it offers more flexibility to see the doctors and specialists you want without a referral.

Cigna Preferred Medicare HMO
Cigna True Choice Medicare PPO
Network typeHMOPPO
Monthly premium$0$0
Drug deductible$2$8
Out-of-pocket maximum$4,823$5,502

*Rates, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are averages.

One of the drawbacks of Cigna Medicare Advantage plans is that you may still have to pay for a lot of your medical care. Cigna plans typically have higher out-of-pocket maximums than other Medicare Advantage plans. On average, Cigna Medicare Advantage plans have a $5,274 out-of-pocket maximum. This means you could pay up to $5,274 each year for your own health care before your plan pays 100%. While this isn't much higher than the national average, many Medicare Advantage plans have lower limits, so you won't have to pay such a high amount.

Cigna offers two different provider networks for its Medicare Advantage plans. You can get a plan that uses an HMO network or one that uses a PPO network. PPOs are usually the better option because they offer more flexibility. And with Cigna, they're cheaper than the more restrictive HMO plans.

Along with standard Medicare Advantage plans, Cigna sells both Chronic and Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (SNPs). These are Medicare Advantage plans designed for people with specific health care needs. Chronic SNPs (C-SNPs) are for those who have chronic conditions like cancer or heart failure. Dual-Eligible SNPs (D-SNPs) help you coordinate your care between Medicare and Medicaid.


Customer reviews and complaints

Cigna has worse customer satisfaction than many other health insurance companies.

Cigna receives 13% more complaints overall than expected for a company its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Although not all these complaints are about Medicare Advantage plans, the overall amount of issues might mean that customers tend to have a hard time working with Cigna's service department.

But according to J.D. Power, Cigna Medicare Advantage plans in Texas have above-average customer service. Cigna was not rated in the other states that J.D. Power analyzed.

Overall, Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans are rated moderately well by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The overall rating for the plans is 3.3 out of 5. CMS star ratings review the quality and service of Medicare Advantage plans. Cigna scores particularly well for its pain management and kidney disease monitoring coverage. But the company has a low score for customer satisfaction.

Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans have good quality ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). On average, the plans have a 3 out of 5 rating. This rating is based on how happy customers are with Cigna plans, how likely Cigna is to improve its plans and the quality of the health care that members get. Cigna is also financially stable, with an "A" (Excellent) rating from AM Best. This means the company is likely to be able to pay claims.


Cigna Medicare Advantage benefits and features

Most of Cigna's Medicare Advantage plans come with extra perks. Always check your plan to see what benefits apply to you.

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) benefit: You get a quarterly allowance to buy over-the-counter medications and health products, like bandages and medical ID bracelets.
  • Transportation: This includes coverage for vans, taxis, wheelchair-equipped vehicles and even Lyft ridesharing in some areas.
  • Dental, vision and hearing coverage: Most plans have coverage for annual and preventive dental, vision and hearing appointments. Some Cigna Medicare Advantage plans offer more coverage.
  • Silver&Fit: This gives you access to a fitness center membership or home-based program, depending on your needs.
  • Meal delivery: If you've had a hospital or skilled nursing facility stay, Cigna will deliver up to 14 healthy meals during your recovery.

Where are Cigna Medicare Advantage plans available?

Cigna sells Medicare Advantage plans in 28 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C

In most states you have the option to buy either an HMO or a PPO plan. However, in Maryland, Cigna only sells HMOs. In New York, only PPOs are available.


Frequently asked questions

Is Cigna Medicare a good choice?

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans are a good choice if you want a cheap policy. In most areas, Cigna has $0 Medicare Advantage options. Cigna isn't the best company for customer satisfaction, though, and its plans aren't as high-quality as those from other companies.

How much does a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan cost?

A Cigna Medicare Advantage plan costs $7 per month, on average. In most areas, Cigna sells at least one plan that does not have a monthly cost. Keep in mind that you have to pay the monthly cost for Medicare Part B on top of the

Is Cigna Medicare Advantage a PPO or HMO?

Cigna sells both HMO and PPO Medicare Advantage plans. HMO plans cost an average of $10 per month, and PPO plans cost an average of $2 per month, which is less than average. Cigna sells Medicare Advantage plans in 28 states and Washington, D.C. Both HMOs and PPOs are available in 26 states and the District of Columbia. However, in Maryland you can only buy an HMO, and in New York you can only buy a PPO.


Methodology and sources

Medicare Advantage rates are sourced from Medicare.gov and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Average rates are for plans with prescription drug coverage. Employer-sponsored plans, health care prepayment plans (HCPPs), Medicare-Medicaid plans, Medicare savings account (MSA) plans, PACE plans, Part-B-only plans, sanctioned plans and Special Needs Plans were not included in the analysis. Medicare Advantage star ratings were also sourced from CMS public use files.

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of CMS Medicare Advantage enrollment files was used to determine the largest Medicare Advantage companies for comparison to Cigna. Other sources include AM Best, Cigna, J.D. Power, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

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