Cigna health insurance review and ratings 2023

Cigna, which ranks high for affordability, is No. 10 on Insure.com’s 2023 Best Health Insurance Companies list – earning 2.9 stars out of 5.

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Our take

Cigna is a good health insurance provider for people who want access to a big provider network and strong integration with pharmacy benefits.

The company also scored extremely high for affordability and had a strong 3 out of 5 stars rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. NCQA evaluates healthcare plans on, among other things, member satisfaction.

Overall, it ranked No. 10 in Insure.com’s list of the Best Health Insurance Companies for 2023

The tradeoffs of a big network and pharmacy-benefits integration seem to be that the company, one of the oldest and biggest health insurers in the country with about 17 million members, has a higher-than-average level of customer complaints and scores lower in some categories, such as policy offerings, than other companies on our list.

Cigna
Cigna Ratings
Overall Rating: 2.9
Price/Affordability: 4.8
NCQA: 2.94
Customer Satisfaction: 3.9
AM Best Rating: A

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • Scores high for affordability
  • Large provider network with some 1.5 million healthcare providers
  • Strong integration with drug and dental with dental plans offered in all 50 states
Cons:
  • A big footprint, but its individual and family plans are limited to 16 states
  • Above average number of customer complaints

Below is Insure.com’s review of the company. It’s based on third-party metrics and an in-depth survey of insurance customers. Find the full methodology here, including an explanation of our survey scores.

How much does Cigna health insurance cost?

Customers rate Cigna high for affordability. It tied for second among the companies on our list. It also ranked in the top half for having low deductibles. 

Insurance company Rank for price/affordability among Insure.com’s top 10
Cigna 2 (tie)
UnitedHealthcare 2 (tie)
Aetna 1

How Cigna scores for customer satisfaction

Cigna rates in the lower half of companies we ranked for customer satisfaction. Kaiser Permanente had the highest score in this category. A few companies also had higher average J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study scores, which measure health plans for overall customer satisfaction.

Insurance company Percent of customers who are satisfied with the company overall J.D. Power overall satisfaction score (out of 1,000)
Cigna 77% 715
Kaiser Permanente 93% 766
Anthem 81% 726

How Cigna scores for customer complaints

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) compares major providers on how many complaints are filed with state regulators. If a provider has a rate that is equal to its customer base, it receives a 1.0 score. If it has twice as many complaints as its share of business, it gets a 2.0. Cigna had a score of 4.08, meaning it had more than four times as many complaints filed compared to its market share.

Insurance company NAIC Complaint Index
Cigna 4.08

How Cigna scores for policy offerings

Cigna does have a large portfolio of offerings, and three-fourths of customers rated it highly here. However, a number of companies scored higher in this category, which was led by Kaiser and Blue California.

Insurance company Percent of customers who score their insurance company highly for policy offerings
Cigna 75%
Kaiser Permanente and Blue California 91%
Anthem 76%

Would current customers recommend Cigna to others?

Yes, 80% of customers said they would recommend the company to others. But that was in the lower half among the companies we ranked. Kaiser led this category. 

Insurance company Percent of customers who would recommend their health insurance company to others
Cigna 80%
Kaiser Permanente 96%
Humana 91%

How trustworthy is Cigna?

Most customers do trust Cigna. More than 70% of customers rated it as trustworthy, although that was in the bottom half of the companies we looked at. But this was a tough category. Eight of the 10 companies we ranked saw between 70-80% of their customers give them high marks for trust. Kaiser was the only company that had more than 80% of its customers give it high marks here.

Insurance company Percent of customers who say they trust their health insurance company
Cigna 71%
Kaiser Permanente 87%
UnitedHealthcare 74%

Do current Cigna customers plan to renew?

Most say yes. While satisfaction rates could be higher, Cigna’s large provider network meets customers’ needs.  Anthem led this category.

Insurance company Percent of customers who plan to renew with their health insurance company
Cigna 90%
Anthem 95%
Kaiser Permanente 93%

How Cigna scores for low deductibles

Cigna scored fairly well for having low deductibles. Customers ranked it among the top providers in our survey.

Insurance company Survey score for low deductibles
Cigna 68%
UnitedHealthcare 66%
Aetna 55%

How Cigna scores for its provider network

The company says it has one of the biggest provider networks in the business, and customers seem to agree. It scored well in this category.

Insurance company Survey score for provider network
Cigna 72%
UnitedHealthcare 54%
Aetna 60%

Cigna health insurance coverage options

  • Plans for individuals and families
  • Medicare and Medicaid plans
  • Plans for employers
  • Government plans
  • International plans
  • Pharmacy plans

Additional Cigna services

  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Savings and spending accounts
  • Supplemental insurance

States where Cigna offers coverage

Graph
Table
States where Cigna offers coverage
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Maryland
Missouri
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY
Available
Not available

Company background

Cigna

Cigna’s history dates back to the years following the American Revolution. In 1792, at a meeting in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, a group of prominent citizens formed the Insurance Company of North America (INA). INA was one of the first marine insurance companies formed in the United States.

It had an illustrious history, including playing a big role in helping survivors of the great Chicago fire rebuild their homes. Fast forward to 1982, when Cigna was formed with the merger of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and INA. The name is a mix of the letters of the merged companies. Until 1997, Cigna was also a big player in the life insurance business, but it sold most of those operations to Lincoln National to focus on healthcare and dental insurance.

Today, Cigna offers individual and family health insurance plans in 16 states, Medicare in 26 states, and dental plans in all 50 states. Cigna also has a big dental insurance business, with plans offered in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. In 2018 Cigna acquired Express Scripts in a deal valued at $67 billion, bringing it in step with such competitors as CVS Health (Aetna) and UnitedHealthcare, by combining health insurance with drug plans.

Resources and Methodology

Sources:

Cigna. Accessed November 2022.

Methodology

Insure.com in the fall of 2022 surveyed more than 1,500 insurance consumers (775 people with health insurance). The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR. 

Respondents were asked to name their insurer and then grade it in the following categories – customer satisfaction, ease of service and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.

Survey score calculation: Respondents were then asked to rank their insurer’s top three attributes out of more than a dozen presented – such as its provider network. For a number one choice, five points were given; for a second choice, three points; and for a third choice, a single point. The total points for each choice – first, second and third – were then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create a percentage. Those percentages are presented in the results as scores. 

Respondents were then asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else and if they planned to renew their policies. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.

They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.

The editors compiled the survey results and then selected – based on the number of survey responses – the top companies for further evaluation. Insure.com needed 20 or more of a company’s customers to respond to the survey for that insurer to be included in the ranking, although in some categories the editors did consider companies with 18 or 19 responses.

They then collected AM Best financial stability ratings and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ratings, which evaluate health plans on, among other things, member satisfaction.

With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For health insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company: 

  • Survey – 60% of total score (10% for customer satisfaction, 10% trustworthiness, 10% for recommending the carrier to another, 10% if a respondent would renew with their current insurer, and 20% if they consider their insurer the best for affordability)
  • AM Best – 25% of total score
  • NCQA – 15% of total score

Each insurer was awarded from 1 to 5 stars. No insurer in our star ranking received less than 1 star and the highest possible ranking is 5 stars.

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Mel Duvall
Contributing Researcher

 
  

Mel Duvall is an award-winning senior business writer and communications professional. Mel also served a three-year term on the Mount Royal University Journalism Committee.

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