Blue Cross Blue Shield vs. Cigna
- How do Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna compare for their Medicare plans, and which one might be the best carrier for you? In our review, we compare BCBS vs. Cigna Medicare plans including what they cover, how much they cost and how you can shop for a plan.
It’s hard for Medicare shoppers to go wrong with either Blue Cross Blue Shield or Cigna. Both insurance companies offer a range of quality and affordable Medicare plans across many states.
But when shopping for the best Medicare plan, you want to be sure you get it right. Read our review of Blue Cross Blue Shield vs. Cigna, which explores some of the criteria most important to shoppers to give you a better idea of which insurance company may be the one for you.
Blue Cross Blue Shield: Wider Availability of Plans
You can only enroll in a Medicare plan that is available in the area in which you reside. And not all insurance carriers sell plans in every state or county, so some beneficiaries have more plans available to them than others.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is part of the Anthem family of insurance company brands. Because of this, Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans or plans from one of their affiliate companies can be found almost anywhere in America. The company sells Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) in all 50 states, Medicare Advantage plans in 44 states and Medicare Part D plans in 41 states.
Cigna sells Medigap plans in 48 states and Medicare Part D plans in all 50 states, making the company competitive with Blue Cross Blue Shield. The differentiator is with Medicare Advantage, where Cigna plans can be found in just 23 states.
Once you know a carrier sells plans in your area, it’s then time to review their selection.
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a wider variety of Medicare Advantage plan types, including Medicare HMO plans, Medicare PPO plans, Special Needs Plans (SNPs), Point-of-Service plans, Private-Fee-for-Service plans and Medicare Cost plans.
Cigna Medicare Advantage plans typically come in the form of HMO, PPO and Special Needs Plans.
When it comes to Medicare Part D, both Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna offer three separate plans to give shoppers an option of different levels of costs and coverage.
Blue Cross Blue Shield has a leg up as it relates to Medicare Supplement Insurance plans by selling nine of the 10 standardized Medigap plans that are available in most states. By comparison, Cigna sells just four of the 10 available plans.
Cigna: Higher Plan Ratings
Medicare shoppers should never overlook quality. Fortunately, Medicare makes it easy to measure the quality of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans by releasing annual Star Ratings for each company’s plan lineup.
Every year, Medicare evaluates plans using a 5-star rating system. A rating of Five Stars is considered excellent, Four Stars is above average or highly rated, and Three Stars is considered average.
Cigna really shines through when it comes to Medicare plan ratings, having earned perfect 5-Star ratings for both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D in 2021.
Several variables are factored into the ratings such as customer service, member complaints, access to coverage and more.
Because Blue Cross Blue Shield operates under dozens of regional affiliate names throughout the country, each affiliate is assigned its own Medicare Star Ratings. But when taken all together, Blue Cross Blue Shield averaged 3.75 Stars for its Medicare Advantage plans and 3.77 Stars for its Medicare Part D plans for the 2021 plan year.
Blue Cross Blue Shield vs. Cigna in Review
Blue Cross Blue Shield has a wider selection of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans and sells Medicare Advantage plans in many more states than Cigna.
Cigna has the advantage when it comes to quality however, with Medicare star ratings that outperform those of Blue Cross Blue Shield.
If you have the choice of both Cigna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, compare the coverage, costs and plan quality of Medicare Advantage plans available where you live. Cigna may be the right choice for some beneficiaries, while Blue Cross Blue Shield will be the better choice for others.