Cigna Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) Reviews

Fact Checked
Medicare rating: 3.5 stars A.M. Best financial strength rating: A Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: Not rated National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) rating: 2.5 to 3.5 stars Consumer Affairs rating: 3.8 J.D. Power ranking: 3rd out of 10

Quick Cigna Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) review: Cigna offers prescription drug coverage through three stand-alone Part D PDPs and as a bundled service in their Medicare Advantage preferred provider organization (PPO) and health maintenance organization (HMO) plans. Cigna’s PDPs have a Medicare star quality rating of 3.5 out of five stars.

Cigna is a global health services company and offers Medicare stand-alone PDPs in all 50 states. Their Medicare Advantage Plans that include drug coverage are not as widely available. Cigna contracts with over 67,000 pharmacies, including most United States pharmacies. ExpressScripts serves as Cigna’s preferred mail-order pharmacy offering significant cost savings to plan members. Cigna’s drug formulary covers more than 3,000 medications common to Medicare enrollees.

Monthly premium prices vary depending on where you live and the type of plan you choose. You can find plans and U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) quality rating information by searching Medicare.gov.

If you have Original Medicare Part A and/or B or a private fee-for-service (PFFS) Medicare Advantage Plan, you can purchase one of Cigna’s stand-alone Part D plans. If you have a Cigna PPO or HMO Medicare Advantage Plan, your plan should include drug coverage.

What we like about Cigna Medicare Part D Plans:  The drawbacks of Cigna Medicare Part D Plans: 
  • Most comprehensive plan’s monthly premium is lower than average
  • Offered in all 50 states
  • Cost savings for 90-day mail order supply from preferred pharmacy

What Do Cigna Medicare Part D Plans Cover?

Cigna’s Medicare Part D plans are regulated by CMS and must cover a wide range of prescription drugs that people with Medicare take. Plans include a coverage gap that begins when you and your plan have spent a certain amount ($4,430 in 2022) on prescription drugs and ends when you’ve spent $7,050 and entered the catastrophic coverage stage. Then, you pay a small coinsurance percentage or copayment amount for drugs you need until the end of the year. When you are in the coverage gap, you pay up to 25% of drug costs.

Cigna has a formulary (list of drugs) and separates drugs into tiers that correspond to costs. Lower tiers include generic, lower-cost medications, and higher tiers include higher-cost, brand name, or specialty drugs.

Your share of costs for each prescription drug may change depending on which pharmacy you choose, the tier of the drug, and when you enter each coverage phase. You must meet your annual deductible before your plan pays unless you choose a plan that covers Tiers 1 and 2 without the deductible requirement. Generic drugs and those obtained from in-network, preferred pharmacies are the least expensive. Cigna offers substantial savings if you get three-month supplies of Tiers 1 and 2 generic drugs from ExpressScripts, their preferred pharmacy.

Cigna’s Extra RX plan is the only one that participates in the Senior Savings Model for select insulins to keep your costs below $35 per month.

What Are Cigna's Medicare Part D Plan Options? 

Cigna offers three different Part D Plan options:

  • Cigna Secure RX: May be a good choice if you need basic protection. You can get Tier 1 and 2 preferred generic drugs and Tier 6 select care drugs for $0 copay and no deductible if you use Cigna’s preferred pharmacies. You get a three-month mail order supply of Tier 1 or 2 drugs through Cigna’s preferred pharmacies at no cost.
  • Cigna Essential RX: Modest coverage, great value, and savings on generic drugs. You can get Tier 1 preferred generic drugs for $0 copay and no deductible. As with Cigna’s Secure RX plan, you get a three-month mail order supply of Tier 1 or 2 drugs through Cigna’s preferred pharmacies at no cost.
  • Cigna Extra RX: Most comprehensive plan (and highest monthly premium) that includes:
    • $0 deductible for Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 6
    • Reduced deductible ($100) for Tiers 4 and 5
    • $0 copays for Tier 1 and 6 drugs for a 90-day mail-order supply from preferred pharmacies
    • $35 copays for select insulins (Senior Savings Model)

Initial coverage limits and annual out-of-pocket threshold amounts are the same for all three plans. These types of plans and coverage limits are similar to other carriers of Part D prescription drug coverage. The differences lie in the monthly premiums, formularies, and preferred pharmacies.

Compare costs for the three 2022 plans in Denver County, Colorado:

Plan Name Monthly Premium Annual Deductible Initial Coverage Limit Annual Out-of-Pocket Threshold Amount
Cigna Secure RX (PDP)  $36.90 $480 (tiers 3, 4, 5) $4,430 $7,050
Cigna Essential RX (PDP) $47.30 $480 (tiers 3, 4, 5) $4,430 $7,050
Cigna Extra RX (PDP) $66.70 $100 (tiers 4, 5) $4,430 $7,050

Cigna Medicare Part D Plans Reviews and Ratings

The CMS is the only rating entity that provides a separate rating for Cigna’s Medicare Part D plans. A.M. Best rates Cigna Global Insurance Company as a whole, and. BBB doesn’t publish a rating for Cigna. Consumer Affairs rates Cigna’s mail-order pharmacy, Express Scripts. NCQA and J.D. Power don’t rank Cigna’s Part D plans separately but provide insight into Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans.

Medicare rating: 3.5 stars Cigna’s Medicare Part D plans have an overall quality rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars from the CMS.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A A.M. Best sets credit ratings for insurers. In October 2021, A.M. Best affirmed a Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A for Cigna Global Insurance Company Ltd. An A rating indicates Cigna has an excellent ability to meet financial obligations.
BBB Rating: Not rated Cigna is not rated by the BBB. The company has processed 603 complaints in the last three years, including all of its products and services versus just stand-alone prescription drug plans.
NCQA rating: 2.5 to 3.5 stars According to the NCQA, satisfaction ratings for Medicare Advantage plans issued by all Cigna divisions in different states range from 2.5 to 3.5 stars. Rated plans are HMOs and PPOs, which offer drug coverage, but no plans are accredited through NCQA. There are no NCQA ratings for Cigna stand-alone prescription drug plans.
Consumer Affairs rating: 3.8 Express Scripts is the preferred mail-order provider for Cigna’s Part D plans. Consumer Affairs gave Express Scripts a 3.8 star rating based on 1,303 ratings. Reviews vary widely depending on individual experiences with customer service agents, but negative reviews were in the process of resolution.
J.D. Power ranking: 3rd out of 10 In its 2021 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power measured Medicare Advantage Plan satisfaction based on coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. Cigna HealthSpring scored 822 points out of 1000 and came in third out of the top 10 Medicare Advantage providers.
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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)Ⓡ

As a health care professional since 1987, Kelly Blackwell has walked alongside and cared for seniors as they journey through the season of their fourth quarter of life. Blackwell holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science in health care administration from Grand Canyon University, an interprofessional graduate certificate in palliative care from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and holds a Certified Senior Advisor® credential from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

Blackwell contributes to the University of Colorado-Anschutz blog and has been published in “The Human Touch” distributed by the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities. She cowrote “Dying Is” for Pathways Hospice.

A registered nurse, Blackwell understands health insurance choices influence quality of life and are driven by values, goals, and beliefs. She’s passionate about engaging with, educating, and empowering seniors as they navigate the health care system. She’s equipped to lend an experienced, compassionate voice to beneficiaries seeking information about Medicare Advantage Plans.

As a CSAⓇ, Blackwell has access to valuable resources for Medicare beneficiaries. Her work as a bedside nurse and clinical manager has given her the opportunity to see how Medicare rules, regulations, and benefits work when patients need them. With a passion to learn and to make a difference in the lives of seniors, Blackwell supports seniors through Medicare and fourth-quarter life decisions.

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