Wellcare vs. Cigna

In this article...
  • Wellcare and Cigna both offer several types of insurance plans, including Medicare Advantage plans. In our review of WellCare vs. Cigna, we help you decide which company may be best for your Medicare coverage needs.

Wellcare and Cigna each sell various forms of private Medicare insurance. If you’re shopping for Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans, you may want to weigh some key considerations between Cigna vs. Wellcare before making your decision.

In our Medicare review, we compare each company’s plans to help you decide which company may be the best option for your needs.

Wellcare ranks 155th on the Fortune 500 list, with 12,00 employees, $20 billion in revenue and 5.5 million customers served.

Cigna serves over 17 million medical insurance customers around the globe. Cigna offers Medicare Advantage plans as well as standalone dental insurance plans, group disability plans, life insurance and more.

Wellcare vs. Cigna
  Pros Cons
Wellcare

Small company feel with a large coverage footprint.

Recent merger with Centene points to a bright future.

Limited selection of plan types.

Plan quality has room for improvement.

Cigna

Diverse selection of plan types.

Strong Medicare Star Ratings and financial ratings.1

Only offers Medicare Advantage plans in less than half of the U.S.

Cigna vs. Wellcare: Types of Insurance Plans Offered

Wellcare only sells private Medicare insurance plans. The company does not offer individual plans outside of Medicare, nor does it provide employer-sponsored group plans. The types of Medicare plans Wellcare offers include Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Wellcare doesn't offer any Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans.

Cigna has a more diversified portfolio of products that includes all three types of private Medicare insurance plans. Cigna also offers individual and group health insurance plans, and they also offer some standalone dental and vision plans in parts of the country.

Areas Served

Wellcare Medicare Part D plans are available in parts of all 50 states, and they offer Medicare Advantage in parts of 28 different states (AL, AZ, AR, CA, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, ME, MI, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT and WA).

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans are sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia (AL, AR, AZ, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, MO, MD, MS, NJ, NC, NM, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT and VA), while its Medicare Part D and Medigap plans are sold in nearly every state.

Cigna offers individual health insurance plans in 18 different states.

Provider Access

Wellcare does not provide information about how many health care professionals participate in its network and accept its plans. However, the company does make it easy to search providers on its website, and there are 17,622 doctors who accept Wellcare insurance plans, according to Doctor.com.

Cigna Medicare plans are part of an overall network of providers that includes more than 1.5 million doctors, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies. The doctors and facilities that are part of plans available where you live may vary, so be sure to compare what providers are accepted by available plans before you enroll.

Financial Ratings

Wellcare maintains strong financial ratings including a BBB- rating from Fitch Ratings and BB rating from Standard and Poor’s. Wellcare has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and the company’s profile was recently boosted by its 2020 merger with Centene.

Cigna has earned some of the strongest financial ratings among health insurance carriers. The company maintains an A rating with A.M. Best and with Fitch and Standard and Poor’s. They earned an A2 rating with Moody’s and an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Medicare Star Ratings

Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the quality of all Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans across a variety of metrics using the 5-star scale.

Wellcare earned a 3.4-star overall rating in 2021 on the five-star scale, which included a 3.7 star-rating for Medicare Part D plans and a 3.2 star-rating for their Medicare Advantage plans.

Cigna plans earned Medicare star ratings that are just as strong as the company’s financial ratings, with perfect 5-star ratings in 2021 for both its Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan lineup.

Customer Experience

The Wellcare website makes it easy for members to find providers and can log in to manage their benefits. Wellcare has a phone number for customer support, but they don’t offer an online chat option.

The company also offers several mobile apps, but customer ratings for the apps are less than favorable. The My Wellcare app is rated 3.3 stars out of 5 in the Google Play store and 1.6 stars in the Apple App Store. My StayWell, which is a health- and lifestyle-focused app, is rated just 1.5 stars in the Google Play Store and 1.4 stars in the Apple App Store.

Cigna makes it equally easy to find participating providers online and offers a member portal to manage benefits. Cigna also provides live online chat and a 24-hour assistance line. 

Cigna has multiple mobile apps, one of which (myCigna) is rated 4.8 stars out of 5 in Apple’s App Store and 3.4 stars in the Google Play Store. The ratings of other Cigna apps have average to below-average ratings. 

Wellcare vs. Cigna: The Verdict

Many companies serve a similar number of markets, but Cigna offers a more diverse portfolio of plan types than Wellcare.

Cigna is defined by quality, which can be seen in its Medicare star ratings and financial ratings.1 Wellcare can be characterized by its small company feel and narrowly focused product lineup.

In the end, it’s up to each consumer to decide which attributes are the most important to them. A licensed insurance agent can help you review the coverage and costs of both company’s plans to help you arrive at a decision that’s best for your health care needs.

  1. Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system.

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