Cigna is the seventh-largest Medicare Advantage (Part C) provider in the United States, offering benefits above and beyond what Original Medicare provides.1 With over 435,000 members enrolled in a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan, Cigna is expanding and looking to add more PPO plans to their HMO-majority offerings.2
Is a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan right for you?
Cigna could be a good option for you, especially if you have these specific needs:
- Looking for an HMO plan: Most of Cigna’s plans are HMOs, but they do offer some HMO-POS plans as well.
- Require a Special Needs Plan: Cigna offers quite a few SNPs compared to other healthcare providers.
- Take prescription drugs: Many of Cigna’s plans come with Part D prescription drug coverage.
States Cigna serves:
Cigna sells Medicare Advantage plans in 15 states (plus Washington DC):
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Cigna Medicare Advantage policies
Cigna offers mostly HMO Medicare Advantage plans. However, they also provide quite a few HMO-SNP plans for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
In nearly half of their plans, Cigna Medicare Advantage plans come with $0 premiums.3 That’s on track with the national trend: Just over half of all Medicare Advantage plans on the market (with prescription drug coverage) also have $0 premiums.4
Cigna sample plans*
|Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred (HMO)||Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred (PPO)||Cigna-HealthSpring Premier (HMO-POS)||Cigna-HealthSpring TotalCare (HMO SNP)||Cigna-HealthSpring PreventiveCare (HMO)|
|Location||Mesa, AZ 85209||Garland, TX 75040||Monroe, GA 30655||Winter Haven, FL 33880||Washington, DC 20002|
|Out-of-pocket maximum||$3,800||$4,900 in network;|
|Primary care physician||$0||$0 in network;|
50% out of network
|$0 in network;|
30% out of network
|Specialist||$30||$35 in network;|
50% out of network
|$30 in network;|
30% out of network
|Network||Must stay in network||Lower costs for in-network services||Lower costs for in-network services||Must stay in network||Must stay in network|
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Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred (HMO)
The Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred plan is an HMO, meaning you must receive all your care within Cigna’s network. You will also need referrals from your primary care physician to see specialists or receive other treatments.
With a $0 deductible, this plan comes with $0 primary care visits and Part D prescription drug coverage. It includes an eye exam every two years, but, while dental and hearing benefits aren’t part of the standard plan, there is an option to add preventive and comprehensive dental coverage for an additional premium.
The Preferred plan could be a good option for those who want an affordable Medicare Advantage plan and don’t mind getting referrals from their primary care physician before seeing specialists or receiving other treatments. For those seeking extra benefits without an additional cost, this may not be a good fit.
Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred (PPO)
In a PPO like the Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred plan, you have access to services in and out of the network. However, it’s generally easier on your wallet to stay in network, both in terms of copayments and minimizing your maximum out-of-pocket cost.
The plan we sampled comes with hearing, vision, and dental (preventive and comprehensive) benefits with copayments that are affordable—at times as low as $0. It also includes a 24-hour health information line that you can use to talk to a clinician as well as a gym membership for no additional charge.
The Cigna-HealthSpring Preferred PPO plan could be a good option for people who want a Medicare Advantage plan with plenty of perks, but the freedom to go outside their network.
Cigna-HealthSpring Premier (HMO-POS)
In an HMO-POS, people have an HMO network, but they also may go out of the network if they need to. However, services will generally be cheaper in the network. An HMO-POS is very similar to a PPO plan, except that you may have to get a doctor referral for a specialist in an HMO-POS, but not in a PPO.
The Premier plan we sampled includes dental (preventive and comprehensive), vision, and hearing benefits with copayments ranging from $0 to $30. It also comes with a gym membership at no additional cost and Part D prescription drug benefits.
Overall, the Cigna-HealthSpring Premier plan provides great additional benefits over traditional Medicare and the freedom to go out of network. It could be a good fit for anyone looking for a plan with flexibility and extra perks like dental, vision, hearing, and a fitness membership.
Cigna-HealthSpring TotalCare (HMO SNP)
An HMO SNP like the CignaHealthSpring TotalCare plan only takes members who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Once you’re enrolled, the plan covers services within the network. But in a Special Needs Plan (SNP) like this one, costs are drastically reduced compared to a regular HMO.
It’s worth mentioning that the plan we sampled was awarded the coveted 5/5 Medicare Star Rating for outstanding quality and service. It’s also very affordable, with $0 copayments for many types of treatment (although authorization or referrals may be required). It offers drug benefits, as well as hearing, dental (preventive and comprehensive), and vision benefits.
Overall, this is an excellent plan with high ratings and comprehensive coverage for anyone in the service area—if they qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. But if you don’t care for the HMO model, you may not prefer the TotalCare plan.
Cigna-HealthSpring PreventiveCare (HMO)
With Cigna-HealthSpring PreventiveCare (HMO) your coverage is valid only for health care services within Cigna’s network. If you need to see a specialist or receive other treatments, you’ll likely need a referral from a primary care physician.
The plan we sampled includes Part D prescription drug coverage. It also comes with hearing, vision, and dental (preventive, not comprehensive) benefits, with an option to add more dental benefits for a fee. It also includes a gym membership with no extra costs.
The Cigna-Healthspring PreventiveCare plan could be a good option for anyone who plans on staying in-network for their health care services. It could also work for those who want extra benefits and an opportunity to add more coverage for dental services.
Bottom line: Cigna’s plans pack in the benefits for less
Many of Cigna’s plans come with dental, vision, and hearing benefits with no additional cost.
Cigna is not shy about adding benefits to their Medicare Advantage offerings. The company delivers a strong portfolio of HMO and HMO-SNP plans. If you live in Cigna’s service area, consider checking out what they can offer you. Just call the number below.
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What dates does Cigna sell Medicare Advantage plans?
You can enroll in a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. The period starts January 1 and lasts until March 31 every year.
Or, if you’re new to Medicare, you may have an enrollment period as well. See our Enrollment Period explainer for more information.
What is the difference between Cigna-Healthspring Medicare Advantage and Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO?
Most of Cigna-Healthspring’s plans are HMOs, meaning enrollees must stay in the plan’s network for health care coverage. In a PPO, a person may go outside of the network, although it may cost more. However, Cigna offers a few PPOs and even HMO-POS plans, which have more flexibility than a traditional HMO.
1. Kaiser Family Foundation, “A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage”
2. Forbes, “Cigna Plans Broader Medicare Advantage Offerings”
3. Cigna, “Cigna-Healthspring Announces 2019 Medicare Advantage Plans with New Benefits Championing Access to High-Quality, Personalized and Affordable Care”
4. Kaiser Family Foundation, “A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage”
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