Cigna administers HealthSpring Medicare health insurance policies. Available plans include Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans (PDPs), and Medigap.
Medicare is a federal insurance plan for people aged 65 and older, and those under 65 with specific health conditions.
Original Medicare has two parts, Medicare Part A and Part B. These are administered directly through Medicare.
Private insurance companies administer some plans on behalf of Medicare. Cigna is one of those companies, and HealthSpring Medicare is the name of their Medicare offering.
In this article, we discuss the parts of Medicare provided by Cigna, what they offer, eligibility, and more.
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.
Cigna-HealthSpring is the name of a set of insurance plans that include Medicare parts C and D, as well as Medicare supplement insurance, known as Medigap.
HealthSpring started as a standalone business in 2000, and in 2012, they became part of Cigna.
Cigna has been providing health insurance plans for over 35 years. They kept the name HealthSpring due to its already well-established Medicare presence.
Medicare mainly comprises of parts A, B, C, and D. Each part offers different aspects of medical cover.
Original Medicare comprises of parts A and B.
Part A covers inpatient services, and Part B covers outpatient care.
Part B also covers limited prescription drugs and preventive services.
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C policies are also known as Medicare Advantage.
The benefits of original Medicare are combined under one plan and may also include additional coverage.
Private medical insurers administer Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Part D
Private insurance companies also administer Medicare Part D plans.
Part D is also knowns as a prescription drug plan (PDP).
These plans help with the cost of prescribed medication.
Medigap supplement insurance
Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap, helps pay for the out-of-pocket costs that may apply to original Medicare.
Costs may include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Cigna-HealthSpring is approved by Medicare to offer Medicare Advantage, PDPs, and Medigap plans. They must follow Medicare rules and regulations.
In 2020, Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage plans are not available in every state in the United States. It may be beneficial for a person to check if there are plans available locally.
Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage plans offer different coverage options, but all are required to provide the same benefits as original Medicare parts A and B.
Medicare Advantage plans can offer extra benefits, and Cigna-HealthSpring plans have benefits that include:
- personalized behavioral and mental health benefits
- case management provided by healthcare experts
- healthy rewards that give discounts for wellness programs
Prescription drug plans (PDPs)
Some Medicare Advantage plans can also include PDPs, and Cigna-HealthSpring offers two options. A person can purchase a standalone policy which covers Part D prescription drugs, or add the PDP to a Medicare Advantage “bundled” plan.
These plans offer access to a pharmacy network where a person can pay less for their prescription drugs at 63,000 preferred pharmacies.
According to Cigna, there are also over 3,000 commonly prescribed medications on their drug list, also called a formulary.
It is illegal to have a Medicare Advantage policy that covers prescriptions and have a PDP, except if the Medicare Advantage plan cannot offer prescription drug coverage, or if the Medicare Advantage plan chooses not to provide prescription drug coverage.
A person can compare Medicare Advantage and Part D plans on the Medicare website using their helpful tool, Find a Medicare plan.
Medigap supplementary insurance
Cigna-HealthSpring also offers Medigap plans that can help to cover the deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance found in parts A and B.
It may be helpful for a person to note, that after January 1, 2020, Medigap plans are no longer able to help pay the deductible for Part B.
Cigna-HealthSpring advises that their Medigap policies allow a person to choose any healthcare provider within the U.S. who accepts Medicare.
Medigap policies cannot pay for coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles that apply to Medicare Advantage plans, and it is illegal for private health insurance companies to sell Medigap plans to their Medicare Advantage policy-holders.
Medigap plans sold before January 2006 may include cover for prescription drugs. Policies sold after this time are no longer allowed to offer this coverage.
If a person has a Medigap policy that includes coverage for prescription drugs, they may join a PDP only when their insurer removes the Medigap drug benefit from their plan.
A person can look for available Medigap plans using the Medicare search tool, Find a Medigap policy that works for you.
The costs for Cigna-HealthSpring’s plans vary depending on the type of policy chosen, the benefits included, and the state in which a person lives.
In addition to the monthly premium paid to the private insurance company, an individual has to pay the monthly Part B premium that is set by Medicare.
In 2021, the standard premium for Part B is $148.50. This may change each year.
The premium for Part B is paid to Medicare.
Monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medigap policies are payable directly to the private insurance company administering the plan.
There are different times that an individual can enroll in Medicare plans. These times are described below.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
People are encouraged to register for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
The IEP lasts for 7 months, beginning 3 months before a person’s birth month. The IEP then continues throughout a person’s birth month and ends 3 months after.
Medigap Open Enrollment Period
A person has a period of 6 months in which they are eligible to register for a Medigap plan. The Medigap Open Enrollment Period starts the month a person turns 65 and they are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
During this time, a person can buy a Medigap policy without the insurer taking their medical history into account.
After the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, a person may not be able to purchase a policy at all. If an individual does find a plan, the insurer can include medical history when calculating cost.
HealthSpring are Medicare plans that are administered through Cigna health insurance company.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs), and Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) policies are all available through Cigna-HealthSpring.
Individuals who are eligible for original Medicare are also eligible for Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare plans.
The costs vary depending on the policy and the area in which a person lives.
Many private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage, PDP, and Medigap plans. A person can compare all plans by visiting the Medicare website.