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Tuesday, October 19th
Cigna has been around for over 30 years and is a recognized insurance provider for various coverage needs.
Expectations let down
As you browse the Cigna site, you'll see that they advertise additional programs and savings at no cost to you, if you become a member of their Medicare Supplement Plans. However, when we clicked on that link, hoping we'd find novel benefits like discounts on gym fees (to match the image of the woman doing yoga), everything described was what you'd expect from such coverage with any insurer. Not overly impressed so far. Later on, during the online quote process, we saw mention of a Health Rewards program and a Health Information Line, but they provided no further details on those benefits.
Couldn't move on
How about online quotes? When we clicked on the Get A Quote button and entered our zip code, at first the site didn't let us click on the "Next" button (we got the red circle with the line through it). After going to another site and returning a few times, we finally were able to move on. We entered our name, date of birth, gender, and the dates our Part A and B coverage began.
Longer application process
The next page had a long list of "Does this apply to you?" questions. They're lengthy to read, but they help determine if there are any special circumstances that might affect your coverage.
During the quote process, we were told that Cigna offers discounts up to 7% if a spouse or other household member applies for a policy. That's about average, with some insurers offering as little as 5% and others giving discounts up to 14%.
Information kept private
Next, we were asked for our email address, but they assured us that it wouldn't be shared with any other party. We were also asked for a phone number, which came with the disclaimer that it would be used for licensed agents from Cigna to reach out to us. We appreciated that we could leave that part blank and still continue with the quote.
We got a quote described as Cigna's Basic Plan for $136.25/month, and it said there were optional riders available - but no description of those riders. When we clicked on "Learn More", the plan we were quoted was described as Plan F - but based on the information we entered, that coverage shouldn't have been available anymore.
Misses the mark
Despite Cigna having an "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau and being in operation for nearly four decades, the company doesn't leave you feeling overly confident in their services when you get a quote for Medicare Supplement Plans online. Plus, looking at the base premium rate without riders for our mock customer profile, Cigna is definitely one of the higher-cost plans on the market. And, across multiple insurance brokers, none of them quoted Cigna or mentioned them as a preferred source of coverage. Overall, we feel there are better options for your Medicare Supplement Plan needs
If you or a loved one is approaching the age of 65, or will be qualified for Medicare Parts A and B soon for another reason, it's the ideal time to start shopping around for supplemental coverage.
You are probably already aware that your Medicare insurance pays for most of your costs - but not all. That's why Medicare Supplement plans are often known as "Medigap": they close the distance between the 80% that's covered and the 20% that isn't, so that you have fewer or no out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare Supplement Plans are given letter names, so it can be easy to wind up confused. Plus, plans and their coverage are always changing. For example, Plan F was considered the go-to package, but it was discontinued for anyone starting coverage after January 1, 2020. Its replacement at the time, Plan G, offered similar benefits - fully covering that extra 20% and more - but added an annual deductible to the equation.
Another factor to keep in mind is the "guaranteed issue period". For the six months following your 65th birthday, you can get a Medicare Supplement Plan with no requirements beyond paying your premiums. By law, you can't be excluded for any health conditions, although your premiums will be higher if you're a smoker. But, once that grace period concludes, insurers can require more detailed information about your health conditions such as diabetes or heart conditions, and you can expect your premiums and available plans to change accordingly.
When buying a Medicare Supplement Plan, you have two basic routes: buy directly from an insurance company or go through a broker. Going to an insurance company you already trust can be an appealing option. You'll typically find the best rates for that particular insurer. On the other hand, using a broker often gives you access to not just your favorite insurance company but many others. So, with one process you can get the best rates from a number of providers at the same time - including that rate you got when you contacted the insurance company directly.
Whether you decide to use a broker or to buy directly from an insurance company, it's wise to do your research beforehand. The last thing you want is for an eager rep to steer you towards a plan that doesn't fit your needs, so take the time to browse several providers' websites before getting in touch. However, because Medicare rules state that all plans have to be sold in person or on the phone, you'll eventually have to speak with someone to finalize your Medicare Supplement Plan.
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Supplement Plans available today. We hope our in-depth evaluations help you save time and money by giving you the information you need to choose the best provider and plan for your needs!
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