Looking for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan from one of the most stable insurance companies in America? One known to fully pay claims, even in historical disasters? And also from the oldest insurance company in the country? If so, Cigna may have the Plan for you.
In this Cigna Medicare Supplement review, we’ll cover (click below to skip to a section):
- Who is Cigna?
- Why you should consider a medicare supplement
- Benefits provided by Cigna Medicare Supplement plans
- How much do Cigna Medicare Supplment plans cost?
- Types of Cigna Medicare Supplement plans
- Can you switch from one medicare supplement plan to another?
- How to enroll in a Cigna Medicare Supplement plan
Who Is Cigna?
Cigna was formed by the 1982 merger of Connecticut General and INA Corporation. INA Corporation was the parent of Insurance Company of North America, which was founded in 1792, making it the oldest stock insurance company in America.
They are a Fortune 100 company with a financial strength rating of “A” from A.M. Best, having total assets greater than $61 Billion. They are headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
In addition to their Medicare product offerings, they’re also a major player in individual and group health as well as life insurance. Some of their products and services include:
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
- Accident insurance
- Disability insurance
- Workers’ Compensation case management
Cigna offers Medicare Supplement Insurance through several subsidiaries, depending on the State, including:
- Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
- American Retirement Life Insurance Company
- Loyal American Life Insurance Company
Why Should I Consider Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Original Medicare was designed to help with the expense of health care, it was not intended to pay for every part of every medical expense. As health care has grown more expensive, the parts that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, the “gaps,” have grown larger.
Medicare Supplement Insurance provides coverage for many of those gaps. This is why they are often referred to as “Medigap” Policies. Like all insurance, Medigap policies provide protection from something, in this case, from large medical bills.
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies cover very specific co-payments, co-insurance, excess charges, and deductibles that Original Medicare would normally require you pay. They can be a valuable tool for your health care, but they come with some restrictions or limitations:
- Medigap Plans do not provide prescription drug coverage
- Some States require you to be age 65 or older
- You have to be eligible, enrolled in, and paying for Original Medicare
Medigap Plans are standardized across the country. Three States (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachuttes) have slightly different rules. The other 47 have identical rules. No matter which State you’re in, however, you can receive coverage for Medicare Covered services.
In order to attract policyholders, many Medicare Supplement Insurance carriers offer additional benefits beyond what the 50 States and the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) require. These extra benefits often take the form of discounts on health related services.
Benefits Provided By Cigna Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies issued by Cigna or it’s subsidiaries come with the following benefits (may vary by state):
- 30 day free look period
- Gym membership discounts
- Vision and eyewear discounts through Vision Network Savings Program
- Alternative Medicine Discounts – save up to 25% on chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture services
- Discounts on hearing aids and exams
- Discounts on healthy weight programs like Jenny Craig
How Much Do Cigna Supplement Insurance Plans Cost?
Since Medigap Plans are issued by private insurance companies, they have the ability to set their own premiums, subject to some regulatory oversight. Cigna, and every other Medicare Supplement Insurance carrier, can base their premiums on:
- Issue and renewal age
- Whether you use tobacco
- Which standardized Plan you choose
- Their actual claims experience versus their estimates
Medigap carriers can, and do, raise their rates. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay less in early years, and more as your age increases. There are other factors that can change premiums, however.
Cigna Medicare Supplement Plans
Cigna offers all the standardized Medicare Supplement Plans specified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the fifty States, but they may not offer them all in every State.
Plans F, G, and N are reviewed below since they have been the most popular with Medicare Beneficiaries.
Cigna Plan F
Plan F is the most comprehensive of the available Plans and provides the following benefits:
- Covers all Parts A and B deductibles in full
- Pays for an extra 365 hospital days
- Pays for your first 3 pints of blood
- Covers Part A hospice co-payment or co-insurance in full
- Covers 100% of any excess charges under Part B
- Pays 100% of your Part B expenses.
- Covers for nursing home coverage medical services
- Foreign travel emergency coverage, up to Plan limits
Plan F is often called Plan “Fabulous” because of its ability to pay for all of your Medicare-approved expenses. In return for the highest premiums, you will receive the lowest out-of-pocket expenses of any Plan.
Cigna Plan G
Plan G is just like Plan F, except that Plan G does not cover the Part B deductible. Beneficiaries will have to pay for the first $185 (2019 amount, subject to yearly adjustment by CMS) of Part B services.
For 2020 and beyond, Plan G will take the place of Plan F as the most comprehensive Medigap Plan.. For 2019, this Plan G is perfect for those who want comprehensive coverage at a lower monthly premium than Plan F.
Cigna Plan N
Plan N is also similar to Plans F and G. It’s differences lie in the presence of small co-pays for services. Plan N comes with a significantly lower monthly premium if you are willing to pay:
- $20 co-pay for office visits
- $50 co-pay for emergency visits
- Part B excess-charges (fees from physicians who don’t accept “Medicare assignment,” and limited to 15% above Medicare-set prices). You can find out whether your doctor accepts Medicare Assignment before you incur any charges.
Plan N is perhaps the best value of the three Plans reviewed here, and certainly should be considered by anyone trying to save money on their monthly premiums.
Cigna’s Plans are Guaranteed Renewable each year, which means that as your coverage can never be canceled, as long as you pay your premiums, no matter your age or claims history.
Isn’t Plan F Going Away?
There has been a lot of news, rumor, and confusion about Plan F lately. The fact of the matter is that Plans C, F, and High Deductible F will no longer be offered after January 1, 2020 – but this only applies to new Medicare Beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries who are either already eligible, or become eligible before January 1, 2020 will be allowed to keep these Plans, or switch to them (subject to underwriting, see below), forever. They have been “grandfathered” into these Plans.
Also, starting in 2020 a new Plan, High Deductible Plan G (HDG) will be available. HDG has the same benefits as regular Plan G except that has a deductible of $2,180. After the Beneficiary spends $2,180, the Plan will pay benefits. Premiums will be lower for this Plan.
Can I Switch From One Supplement Insurance Plan To Another?
One drawback to Medigap Plans is that they are traditional health insurance policies, and therefore it can be difficult to get new or different coverage outside of your Guaranteed Issue window.
You have a protected right to purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy under Guaranteed Issue conditions (no underwriting or health questions) when you initially enter Medicare. During this period you will pay the lowest rate, and you cannot be declined.
If you want to purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance, or switch to a different Plan, after your Guaranteed Issue period has passed, you will be subject to medical underwriting, unless you qualify for certain exceptions. Carriers can also decline your application.
Some States, like California, have a provision known as the “Birthday Rule.” This rule allows you to change Medigap Plans once per year on your birthday.. For example, you may be able to switch from Plan F to G once per year under Guaranteed Issue provisions.
Not every State has this provision. Be sure to speak with an independent health insurance agent to ask about the Birthday Rule, or discuss the other circumstances when you might qualify for Guaranteed Issue Medicare Supplement Insurance..
How To Enroll In A Cigna Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Working with an independent, licensed, agent you can determine which Cigna Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan is a good fit for you. When it’s time to enroll, they can help you enroll in several easy ways:
Over the phone