As you age and start to use Medicare, you may find it doesn’t cover every healthcare expense. Thankfully, private companies like Cigna offer what’s known as Medigap insurance. With it, you can take care of deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. If you’d like to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for taking great care of your health in your golden years, and you don’t want to be restricted to only seeing doctors in your network, learn more about the Medigap plans Cigna offers.
Medigap Plan F
In addition to covering your Medicare coinsurance, copayments and deductibles, Cigna’s Medigap Plan F includes the calendar deductible for Medicare Part B. Compared to Cigna’s other Medigap plans, this one in particular provides you with the most coverage and the smallest out-of-pocket cost in regards to services covered by Medicare. The plan covers a number of specific services:
- Durable medical equipment
- Medical expenses
- First three pints of blood
One thing notable about Plan F is that it includes benefits uncommon to Medicare. For instance, if you’re out of the U.S. and need emergency medical care, Plan F will pay for 80 percent of that care, with a lifetime maximum benefit of $50,000. That said, you will be required to pay the initial $250 for each calendar year.
Medigap High Deductible Plan F
Cigna’s High Deductible Plan F is similar to Plan F above. The difference between the two is that the high deductible plan activates once your annual out-of-pocket medical expenses reach their calendar year deductible. While, as the name implies, you’ll pay a higher deductible, the trade-off is the fact that you can enjoy lower monthly payments. This can be a good plan if you don’t need a lot of medical care or don’t incur a lot of medical care expenses. Just make sure that at the beginning of each year you check to see whether the amount of out-of-pocket expenses has changed, as it often does.
Medigap Plan G
Many similarities exist between Plan F and Plan G. Where the two diverge is that with Plan G, before your Medicare Part B coverage activates, you have to make sure you pay the yearly deductible. Just like with Plan F, Plan G also covers “medically necessary” emergency healthcare services incurred when you travel out the country, a benefit that applies to the first 60 days of every foreign trip. Something else to take note of with this specific plan is the fact that there are no office copays for you to worry about. Also, Plan G comes with a lower rate increase when compared to Plan F, which is sure to prove a great benefit over the long term.
Medigap Plan N
Cigna’s Plan G and Plan N are quite similar. One of the biggest differences between the two is that Plan N is less expensive. Also, with Plan N, whenever you book an appointment at the doctor’s office, you have to take care of copayments that add up to as much as $20. This particular plan does not include Medicare Part B excess charges. What does that mean? Well, if a doctor chooses to charge more for specific medical services than what Medicare covers, you have to pay the excess. Just like with Plan G, Plan N does not take care of Medicare Part B costs until you meet your yearly Part B deductible.
Even though some out-of-pocket costs come with Plan N, you may prefer those costs to Cigna’s other plans because of the overall savings you can enjoy. Consulting with a Medicare and Medigap expert goes a long way in helping you make the best decision.
Medigap Plan A
If you just need a little financial boost to take care of all your medical costs, Cigna’s Plan A could be a solid fit. Essentially, once you meet your deductible requirements for Medicare Part A and Part B, Medigap Plan A kicks in to take care of the remaining costs.
One vital piece of information regarding Medigap Plan A is that it does not provide coverage for skilled nursing facility coinsurance payments if you had a recent stay in the hospital for at least three days before you were transferred to a skilled nursing facility within 30 days of your original hospital admission. That’s a mouthful, but it’s essential to be as clear as possible about the terms and limits of your coverage. If you currently need (or think there’s a good chance you’ll need) hospice care coverage, senior care needs, senior housing needs or anything similar, this specific plan may not be the best option for you.
There’s a lot of information to compare and take in from all of Cigna’s Medigap plans. For that reason, we’ve created this helpful table below to help you compare and contrast what each plan offers. Reviewing it can make it easier and faster for you to get a good grasp on the specifics.
|Benefits||Plan F||High Deductible Plan F||Plan G||Plan N||Plan A|
|Medicare Part A deductible||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance and coverage for hospital benefits||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part B deductible||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||$50 copay for ER, $20 copay for visits to the doctor’s office||Yes|
|Medicare Part B excess charges||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Hospice care copayment or coinsurance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|First three pints of blood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Foreign travel emergency (up to plan limits)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
When you find a Medigap plan you feel suits you, do everything you can to ensure you go about enrolling the right way. Essentially, you want to enroll whenever you initially become eligible to do so. That time frame is usually three months before through three months after you reach the age of 65. There’s also the yearly open enrollment period to consider. Read our full review of Cigna's medicare supplement plans here if you are interested in enrolling.