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.
John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.
Why you can trust Insure.com
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.
AM Best's Financial Strength Rating is an independent opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most say yes. While satisfaction rates could be higher, Cigna’s large provider network meets customers’ needs. Anthem led this category.
Cigna scored fairly well for having low deductibles. Customers ranked it among the top providers in our survey.
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.
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.
Cigna. Accessed November 2022.
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:
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.