Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, are optional policies a person with original Medicare may have to help with out-of-pocket costs. Cigna is one company that sells Medigap plans.
Medigap policies are there to help with additional costs that may be associated with original Medicare plans, such as deductibles and excess charges.
This article will describe the insurance policies that Cigna offers its enrollees as well as bonus programs offered and explanations of coverage.
We may use a few terms in this piece that can be helpful to understand when selecting the best insurance plan:
- Deductible: This is an annual amount that a person must spend out of pocket within a certain time period before an insurer starts to fund their treatments.
- Coinsurance: This is a percentage of a treatment cost that a person will need to self-fund. For Medicare Part B, this comes to 20%.
- Copayment: This is a fixed dollar amount that an insured person pays when receiving certain treatments. For Medicare, this usually applies to prescription drugs.
When a person qualifies, they can choose either original Medicare, which Medicare directly administers, or a Medicare Advantage plan that private insurance companies administer.
Medicare Advantage plans often have an out-of-pocket limit, but original Medicare does not, meaning a person could be subject to high out-of-pocket costs.
Medigap plans are a way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and enhance a person’s original Medicare coverage. By helping pay for copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, Medigap policies can reduce spending.
However, it may be important to note that as a person must pay monthly premiums for Medigap coverage, they may pay premiums for coverage they do not utilize in a calendar year.
Medicare requires Medigap plans to be standardized, and the plans are identified by letters. As of 2020, there are ten Medigap plans available.
Cigna administers Medigap plans to those who qualify for Medicare based on specific health conditions or age.
Even though plans are standardized, Cigna does not offer all plans, with some plan availability varying based on where a person lives.
If an individual is interested in purchasing a Medigap plan, they can visit the Medicare website. There, a person can find Medigap plans by using the Medicare Plan Finder or visiting Cigna’s Medicare supplement page.
Which plans do they offer?
Medicare requires private insurance companies to standardize their Medigap plans. However, companies like Cigna do not have to sell all plans, and they may offer different policies in different states.
Some Cigna plans and coverage include:
|Benefit||Plan A||Plan F||Plan G||Plan N|
|Part A deductible||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital benefits||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Skilled nursing facility coinsurance||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Hospice care coinsurance or copayment||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|The first 3 pints of blood||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Part B deductible||no||yes||no||no|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||yes||yes||yes||$20 copay for office visits|
$50 copay for emergency room visits
|Part b excess charges||no||yes||yes||no|
|Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)||no||yes||yes||yes|
Medicare no longer allows Medigap companies to sell Plan F to anyone new to Medicare after January 1, 2020. However, if a person qualifies for Medicare before this time, Plan F may still be offered.
In some areas of the country, Cigna offers plans F and G as high-deductible options.
With high-deductible plans, a person must first pay their deductible before their Medigap policy will begin to pay for coinsurances, copayments, and deductibles. The premiums for these policies tend to be lower.
Standardized Medigap plans mean that each person must get the same coverage, regardless of their chosen company.
In addition, Medicare operates a guaranteed-issue right during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP). At this time, a private insurance company cannot deny a person coverage or charge a person a higher premium due to existing and pre-existing medical conditions.
The Medigap OEP begins the month a person turns 65 years old and lasts for a period of 6 months. This enrollment period will also be made available to individuals if they experience specific changes in their current policy, such as their insurer no longer participating with or offering Medicare plans.
Outside of their Medigap OEP, an insurer does not have to offer a person a policy at all. If they do, the company may increase premiums based on pre-existing conditions or based on a person’s age.
Medicare supplement companies do not usually offer additional coverage beyond the standardized options.
Some companies, Cigna included, may offer additional benefits.
Cigna Healthy Rewards
Cigna Healthy Rewards is a discount program available with some Cigna policies.
Examples of discounts include:
- alternative medicine discounts, including for acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage
- fitness club discounts
- hearing exam and, if needed, hearing aid discounts at more than 3,500 participating locations
- vision exams and eyewear at more than 20,000 participating locations nationwide
- weight and nutrition discounts
Cigna health information line
The Cigna health information line is a free line that provides access to a clinician 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
With this service, a person will receive medical guidance in non-emergency medical situations.
Cigna offers an enrollment discount called a household discount.
A person can obtain this discount if someone else in their household also enrolls in a Cigna Medigap plan.
Cigna does not offer Medicare supplement plans in New York or Massachusetts. They do offer plans in all other states and the District of Columbia.
Otherwise, rules vary based on the state in which the Medigap policy is offered.
As an example, if a person qualifies for Medicare based on specific health conditions or disabilities only, some states have protections that require insurers to offer Medigap policies.
Medigap plans can help with the out-of-pocket costs associated with original Medicare.
Cigna is one of the private insurers that administers Medigap policies and the plans are available in most states.
The costs and policy availability depend upon many factors, including zip code, age, and guaranteed-issue period.
If a person wants to find out more about Cigna’s plan offerings, they can visit Cigna’s website or the Medicare Plan Finder.