Cigna and Senior Care Coverage
Understanding Cigna’s Insurance Options for Seniors and What Care They Cover
Cigna has been a popular health insurance carrier since 1982, particularly among seniors who qualify for Medicare. Cigna offers Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses, and Part D prescription drug plans. There are some differences between Cigna’s plans and other carriers in terms of pricing, benefits, and availability; however, private insurers that offer Part C and Medigap (like Cigna) are required to offer many of the same essential benefits.
Regardless of the minimum benefit requirements, you should always carefully review private insurance plans. Some may include additional benefits like dental, hearing, vision, and even discounts on senior housing and care.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at Cigna’s insurance plans for seniors and what they cover so you can make an informed decision when choosing your insurance plans.
Overview of Cigna Insurance Plans for Seniors
Cigna has three primary types of health insurance plans for older adults: Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Part D. Here is a more comprehensive breakdown of Cigna’s options:
- Medicare Advantage: Medicare Advantage plans bundle multiple Medicare benefits into one. Typically, this includes Part A, Part B, and Part D coverage, along with a few additional benefits like dental, vision, hearing, OTC products, and fitness coverage. Cigna’s HMO and PPO options have low or no monthly premiums.
- Medigap: Cigna’s Medigap plans help pay for out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not cover, including premiums, deductibles, and copays. Cigna Medigap plans also offer the freedom to keep your insurance virtually anywhere in the U.S., as they do not have a provider network.
- Part D: Cigna offers stand-alone Part D coverage to seniors who want to keep their Original Medicare plans. Part D plans through Cigna (including those bundled with Medicare Advantage) offer benefits like low copays, a network of more than 63,000 pharmacies nationwide, and drug coverage for over 3,000 medications.
Pro Tip: Interested in enrolling in one of Cigna’s Medicare plans? Visit our guide to Medicare enrollment for tips and more information on how to enroll.
It is important to note that Original Medicare and private Medicare options do not cover long-term (custodial) care. From senior living facilities to comprehensive home health care, many older adults sign up for long-term care insurance (LTCI) plans to help pay for a wide range of long-term care services.1 Unfortunately, Cigna does not offer LTCI plans.
Our free housing and care finder uses your unique needs to curate a list of the best options in your area.
Does Cigna Cover Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Care?
Medicare offers very little in the way of nursing home coverage. Part A can pay for a short-term stay in a nursing home that does not require custodial care. Consequently, Cigna Medicare Advantage plans only cover the same degree of nursing home care.
Medicare Part A coverage, provided through Cigna’s Part C plans, can cover inpatient care at a skilled nursing facility (SNF).2 This coverage only applies under specific circumstances. Typically, this entails care under a skilled care plan written by a doctor or provided by medically certified personnel in a state-licensed skilled nursing center. The care is usually for a specified period of time.
FYI:Long-term care at a nursing home can be extremely costly, making some form of LTCI a great option for seniors who require the round-the-clock assistance available at a nursing home facility.
Long-term care insurance is the best option to help with nursing home costs. As we’ve mentioned, Cigna does not offer these plans. If you need to stay at a skilled nursing facility for more than 100 days, you may want to find a long-term care plan from another carrier to cover additional days. Medicare Part A will only pay for skilled nursing care for the first 100 days of care (assuming you meet the aforementioned requirements).
Does Cigna Cover Home Care?
Many older adults want to live in the comfort of their own homes with the one-on-one assistance of a professional caregiver. Because personal care such as meal preparations, housekeeping, bathing, grooming, and dressing are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, much of the care required to remain at home is paid out of pocket.
FYI: At-home care is becoming increasingly popular among seniors, but Original Medicare does not cover all kinds of home health care for seniors.
Skilled care, such as that provided by a home health care agency, is generally covered by Medicare, including Medicare Advantage plans offered through Cigna. Home health care may include nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. For even greater home care coverage, you may want to consider a LTCI from another carrier.
Our team of senior living advisors provide free guidance to help you find the right housing option for your needs and budget.
Does Cigna Cover Hospice Care?
Hospice care, also referred to as end-of-life care, is provided when a person is believed to have less than six months to live. At the time that hospice care begins, a person has chosen to stop pursuing curative treatments – treatments that help you live longer. Cigna offers coverage options for end-of-life care. Many of the costs associated with hospice care are covered through Cigna’s Medicare Advantage plans.
Here are some of the hospices services you might be eligible for with Cigna:
- Basic medical care with a focus on pain and symptom control
- Access to a hospice team member 24/7
- Counseling and social support to help you and your family with psychological, emotional, and spiritual issues
- Volunteer support, such as meal preparations or errands
- Respite care for caregivers, family, or others who help take care of you3
Does Cigna Cover Assisted Living?
None of Cigna’s Medicare plans cover assisted living. LTCI does cover a portion of assisted living costs. The exact amount that these plans cover varies from one plan and carrier to another. If you’re interested in LTCI, we’d recommend considering other private carriers who offer these plans.
How Do I Enroll in a Cigna Medicare Plan for Senior Care?
You can start shopping for Cigna Medicare plans on Cigna’s website. You will need to input your ZIP code to see which plans are available in your area. From there, you can either enroll online or call a licensed Cigna agent. Cigna agents are available by phone Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Whether you choose to sign up online or over the phone, Cigna makes it easy to find the best plan for you, understand the benefits and costs, and enroll.
What Other Options Exist to Pay for Senior Care?
If Cigna’s plans do not cover the kind of senior care you need, LTCI is a great way to pay for additional services, including:
- Assistance with daily hygiene and at-home care
- Community-based services
- Assisted living facilities
- Residential care facilities
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Special care units
- Continuing-care communities
In addition to LTCI, people pay for senior care in a variety of ways, including:
- Private pay, including personal savings and retirement accounts
- Social Security income
- Reverse mortgages
- Home care loans
- Life insurance policy conversions