Cigna Medigap Review
For over 200 years, Cigna has been working to simplify access to health care. Today, Cigna is a global health services company with some pretty powerful numbers:
- 74,000 employees
- 1 million healthcare professionals in their global network
- Over 68,000 pharmacies in their global network
- 17 million medical policyholders
Cigna is a massive company, and they offer several Medicare products, including Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans.
For many years, Cigna has been a reliable and recognized name in the Medicare Supplement market, and over 400 of our clients choose Cigna for their Medigap plan!
Before we get into our full Cigna Medicare Supplement review, we’d like to share that all Medicare Supplements are standardized by the government.
Each company must offer the plan benefits established by the government. For example, a Plan G sold by Cigna must have the same exact benefits as a Plan G sold by any other company.
In general, the two main differences between Medicare Supplements are the cost of the plan and the underwriting (or health questions).
What is Cigna?
Cigna was formed in 1982 when INA (the Insurance Company of North America), and CG (the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company) merged. INA was formed in 1792 by a group of citizens from Philadelphia and was the first marine insurance company in the United States. In 1865, the Governor of Connecticut signed a special law that created CG.
With the history of these predecessors and the continuation of Cigna today, the company has a rich history with more than 225 years in the insurance field.
In the past 37 years, Cigna has grown through the acquisition of numerous companies, enabling them to expand their reach to a vast majority of people. A few of these acquisitions are:
- In 1997, they acquired Healthsource, which allowed them to offer HMOs to underrepresented areas of the United States.
- Cigna became the international leader in benefits for people living abroad in 2010 when they acquired Vanbreda International.
- In 2012, they acquired Health Spring which produced growth in the senior and Medicare market.
Cigna continues to be an innovative company that strives to meet the needs of its customers. For example, in 2014 they launched Cigna Health Matters®. This program gives its families and customers access to health management tools such as coaches, mobile apps, social media, and games, which allows them to evaluate their own health, find tools to improve their health, track their progress, and even earn rewards.
Through each of Cigna’s acquisitions and milestones they continue to expand their ability to serve their global customer base in a variety of insurance and benefit needs.
The Many Names of Cigna
Like many other large companies, Cigna has an umbrella of subsidiaries that are all a part of Cigna Corporation.
Just a few of the Cigna businesses include:
- Cigna-HealthSpring, which offers Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans
- Express Scripts, which focuses on pharmacy and medical benefits management
- Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, which is referred to as CHLIC
- American Retirement Life Insurance Company, which is referred to as ARLIC
If you have a Cigna Medicare Supplement, it is likely insured by either CHLIC or ARLIC, so those acronyms may sound familiar.
How is Cigna Rated?
Cigna has excellent ratings across the board, particularly for its financial strength.
- Standard & Poor's – rating for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC) and Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC) is "A".
- A.M. Best – rating for CGLIC, CHLIC and LINA is "A"
- Moody's – rating for CGLIC, CHLIC and LINA is "A2"
- Fitch – rating for CGLIC and LINA is "A"
For context, here is what those scores mean:
- Standard and Poor's – “A” is sixth, and “A-“ is seventh, out of twenty-two categories
- A.M. Best – “A” is third out of sixteen categories
- Moody's – “A2” is sixth, and “Baa2” is ninth out of twenty-one categories
- Fitch – “A” is sixth, and “BBB-” is tenth, out of twenty-one categories
In the senior market, we focus the most on the A.M. Best rating, so it’s great to know that Cigna has such a high rating.
While all public insurance companies are reinsured, it can still be nice to know that Cigna is financially secure, and they have the ratings to back it up.
Medicare Supplement Plan Types Offered by Cigna
Cigna currently offers the following Medicare Supplement plans in Illinois:
- Plan A
- Plan F
- Plan G
- High Deductible Plan F
- Plan N
You can read more about what is included in these plans here: Medicare Supplement Insurance in Illinois.
Plan F (and High Deductible Plan F) will no longer be available for new Medicare enrollees on or after January 1, 2020. However, if you’re already on Medicare when 2020 comes around, you can still purchase a Plan F.
How Does a Cigna Medicare Supplement Work?
Since all Medicare Supplements are regulated by the government, a Cigna Medicare Supplement works the same as any other Medicare Supplement. If you’ve been reading our other Medigap reviews, you know how this goes.
Once you understand how one Medicare Supplement works, you understand how they all work, which is nice!
All Medicare Supplements add to your existing Medicare Part A and B coverage, which is also referred to as Original Medicare. A Medicare Supplement will cover things like copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. In addition, many plans offer international travel coverage.
In exchange for those benefits, you pay a premium, which can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
Even though Cigna offers 5 different Medicare Supplement plans, we only recommend about 3 of them due to the coverage they provide. These include Plan F, G, and N.
Cigna Plan F
Remember that the benefits of a Plan F from Cigna are the same as a Plan F from any other company.
Many individuals aging into Medicare love a Plan F because it covers the remaining Medicare-approved charges. Yep – all of them. You don’t have to deal with any copays, coinsurance, or deductibles when you have a Plan F.
A Plan F from Cigna will cover your hospital and doctor coinsurance, up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility, your hospital and doctor deductibles, excess charges from doctors who don’t accept Medicare, and even 80% of foreign travel emergency charges.
Medicare Supplement Plan F is the most comprehensive Medigap coverage you can buy, which also explains why it has the highest premium.
Remember: if you are first eligible for Medicare after January 1 of 2020, you won’t be able to purchase a Plan F.
Cigna Plan G
A Plan G from Cigna will pay for everything a Plan F pays for except the deductible at the doctor. This is also called the Medicare Part B deductible (Part B is your medical insurance).
The Part B deductible isn’t much – it’s $185 in 2019.
If you do the math, you know that a Plan G offers $185 less in coverage than a Plan F. However, a Plan F almost always costs over $185 more than a Plan G.
Insurance companies – including Cigna – charge a premium for a Plan F, and many seniors don’t like that as it can feel like they are overpaying.
To be transparent, the majority of our clients here at Sams/Hockaday who have a Medicare Supplement choose a Plan G. Is it our favorite plan and offers great value for the excellent coverage you get.
Cigna Plan N
A Cigna Plan N offers the same coverage as a Plan G aside from three exceptions:
- You will have a copay of up to $20 every time you see the doctor
- You will have a copay of up to $50 every time you visit the ER – if you’re admitted to the hospital, that copay is waived
- If you see a doctor who does not accept Medicare (pretty rare) you may be charged an excess of up to 15% more than the Medicare-approved amount
Plan N offers some savings in premium, so some individuals take on the copays and possibility of excess charges in order to save money in premiums when compared to a Plan G. (Excess charges are extremely rare, as 97% of all doctors accept Medicare, so this hardly ever factors into the decision.)
Most of our clients do not choose a Plan N because of the copays, but it does seem to be gaining popularity versus years past.
Just like all Medicare Supplement companies, the premium of a Cigna Medicare Supplement will vary depending on a few factors, including:
- How much coverage you want (a Plan F is more expensive than a Plan N)
- Your age (younger is cheaper)
- Your zip code (Decatur will be cheaper than Chicago)
- Your gender (females are less expensive than males)
- Whether or not you are a tobacco user (tobacco users are generally more expensive)
In the Decatur, IL area, Cigna is not the most competitively priced company for a Plan F, G, or N (as of 10-1-19). They certainly are not the most expensive company, but they are currently right in the middle of the pack as far as pricing goes.
Many times, Medigap companies are within a few dollars of each other, and in some cases, Cigna is only about $10-$15 more than the lowest cost option.
Many enjoy the recognized brand name of Cigna and choose to pay more because of it. In addition, different companies take rate increases at different times, so Cigna may become competitive again in the future.
If you’d like to compare pricing for your Medigap plan, simply schedule an online appointment using our online scheduling system, or give us a call at 217-723-8000!
What We Think of Cigna Medicare Supplements
At Sams/Hockaday, we’ve been offering the best Medicare Supplement options in Illinois for decades. Cigna is a tried-and-true option, not only for its financial stability and experience, but for its recognized name in the senior insurance market.
While Cigna does not have the absolute lowest prices for its Medicare Supplements, it is still an excellent, well-known company with a lot of history, and many seniors appreciate that.
To see what a Cigna Medicare Supplement would cost you today, you can request a free Medicare planner using the link below. If you prefer, you can schedule an appointment online with one of our local agents.
You can also call our office at 217-423-8000. We can’t wait to meet you!
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