Quick Cigna Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) review
Cigna logo Cigna offers three different standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs). All three plans have a 3.5 out of 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Medicare rating: 3.5 stars A.M. Best financial strength rating: A BBB rating: not rated NCQA rating: 2.5 to 3.5 stars Consumer Affairs rating: 3.7 J.D. Power ranking 3rd out of 10

Cigna is a global health services company that offers Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in all 50 states. The company contracts with over 67,000 pharmacies, which includes the vast majority of U.S. pharmacies. Cigna’s drug formulary covers over 3,000 medications common to Medicare enrollees.

Cigna provides drug coverage through their Medicare Advantage Plans in addition to their PDPs, and some of the ratings and reviews here include Advantage plans or Cigna global health insurance as a whole. PDP plans are rated separately by CMS only. This article looks specifically at Cigna’s PDP plans which are intended to supplement Original Medicare or certain Medicare Advantage Plans (PFFS or MSAs) that don’t offer drug coverage.

What Do Cigna Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) Cover?

Cigna Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are regulated by Medicare and must cover:

  • A wide range of prescription drugs that people with Medicare take, including generic options
  • Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs for complex health needs

Cigna, like all Medicare Part D prescription plan providers, has a formulary (list of drugs) and separates drugs into tiers that correspond to costs. Lower tiers include generic, lower-cost medications, and higher tiers include higher-cost, brand name, or specialty drugs.

Cigna’s Extra RX standalone Part D plan is the only plan that participates in the senior savings model that offers savings on insulin. These plans provide affordable copayments on select insulins, and you pay no more than $35 for a month’s supply.

Most of Cigna’s plans include mail order savings with $0 copay for Tier one drugs for a 90-day supply. The Extra RX plan offers a $0 copay for select insulins (Tier six) if you use the 90-day mail order method. Express Scripts® Pharmacy is Cigna’s preferred home delivery pharmacy. When you search for a standalone Part D Plan, check to see if your preferred pharmacy is in-network and whether the formulary includes the drugs you take.

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What Are Cigna’s Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) Options?

Cigna offers three PDPs. All plans have the same initial coverage limit (what you and your plan spend before you enter the coverage gap) and the same annual out-of-pocket threshold amount (when you enter the catastrophic coverage phase).

  • Cigna Secure RX – may be a good choice for you if you need Extra Help or basic protection. You can get Tier one and two preferred generic drugs and Tier six select care drugs for $0 copay and no deductible if you use Cigna’s preferred pharmacies.
  • Cigna Essential RX – modest coverage, great value, and savings on generic drugs. You can get Tier one preferred generic drugs for $0 copay and no deductible. If you use mail order through Cigna’s preferred pharmacies, you get Tier one and two drugs for $0 copay and no deductible.
  • Cigna Extra RX – most comprehensive plan (and highest monthly premium) that includes:
    • $0 deductible for Tiers one, two, and six
    • $0 copays for Tier one and six drugs for a 90-day mail-order supply from preferred pharmacies
    • $35 copays for select insulins (Senior Savings Model)

Compare costs for the three 2022 plans in Denver County, CO:

Cigna Medicare Part D Plans
Plan name Monthly premium Annual deductible Initial Coverage Limit Annual out-of-pocket threshold amount
Cigna Secure RX (PDP)  $36.90 $480 (tiers 3, 4, 5) $4,430 $7,050
Cigna Essential RX (PDP) $47.30 $480 (tiers 3, 4, 5) $4,430 $7,050
Cigna Extra RX (PDP) $66.70 $100 (tiers 4, 5) $4,430 $7,050

*Based on pricing in Denver County, CO

Pros and Cons of Cigna Medicare Part D Plans

What we like about Cigna Medicare Part D Plans: The drawbacks of Cigna Medicare Part D Plans:
  • Three choices available
  • Offered in all 50 states
  • Cost savings for 90-day mail order supply from preferred pharmacy
  • Lowest monthly premium is higher than average
  • Average quality rating from CMS

Cigna Medicare Part D Plans Reviews and Ratings

Cigna’s Medicare Part D plans are rated separately by CMS. A.M. Best issues a financial strength rating for Cigna Global Insurance Company, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) does not rate Cigna. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and JDPower rate Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans only which are not as widely offered in the U.S. as their standalone Part D plans.. Because Express Scripts is the preferred mail order pharmacy for Cigna, the Consumer Affairs rating reflects Express Scripts Pharmacy reviews.

Although standalone Part D plans and Medicare Advantage Plans with drug coverage must follow the same CMS guidelines, your experience as a consumer may be different with a standalone plan versus a Medicare Advantage Plan. See ratings below to get an idea of how Cigna Global Insurance Company and Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans stack up against other insurers. The Medicare and Consumer Affairs ratings may be more indicative of how Cigna compares with other drug plans.

Medicare rating: 3.5 stars Cigna’s Part D plans have an overall quality rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A A.M. Best sets credit ratings for insurers. A.M. Best’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) for Cigna Global Insurance Company is A (Excellent). An A rating indicates Cigna has an excellent ability to meet financial obligations.
BBB Rating: not rated Cigna is not rated by the Better Business Bureau. The company has processed 605 complaints in the last three years, including all of its products and services versus just standalone prescription drug plans.
NCQA rating: 2.5 to 3.5 stars According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, satisfaction ratings for Medicare Advantage plans issued by all Cigna divisions in different states range from 2.5 to 3.5 stars. Rated plans are HMOs and PPOs, which offer drug coverage, but no plans are accredited through NCQA. There are no NCQA ratings for Cigna standalone prescription drug plans.
Consumer Affairs rating: 3.7 Express Scripts is the preferred mail-order provider for Cigna’s Part D plans. Consumer Affairs gave Express Scripts a 3.7-star rating based on 1306 ratings. Reviews vary widely depending on individual experiences with customer service agents, but negative reviews were in the process of resolution.
J.D. Power ranking: 3rd out of 10 In its 2021 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power measured Medicare Advantage Plan satisfaction based on coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. Cigna Healthspring scored 822 points out of 1000 and came in third out of the top 10 Medicare Advantage providers.
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Insurance and health care consultant

Tammy Burns is an experienced health insurance advisor. She earned her nursing degree in 1990 from Jacksonville State University, obtained her insurance billing and coding certification in 1995, and holds a health and life insurance license in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Burns is Affordable Care Act (ACA)-certified for health insurance and other ancillary, life, and annuity products. She maintains an active nursing license and practices private-duty nursing.

Burns’ background as a nurse, insurance biller and coder, and insurance consultant includes infectious disease, oncology, gynecology, phlebotomy, post operative, family medicine, geriatrics, home health, hospice, human resources, management, billing, coding, claims, fixed annuities, group and individual health and life products, and Medicare. She’s always been driven by a desire to help people, spending more than 25 years as a practicing nurse in hospitals, private doctors’ offices, home health, and hospice. As a nurse, Burns supported patients filing insurance claims with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies as well as responding to billing questions from confused patients.

Seeing firsthand how unsuspecting patients are frequently confused by an overly complex system they don’t understand led Burns to become an insurance agent and health care consultant, now helping people understand the medical system. Since becoming an insurance agent in 2013, she has worked with some of the largest and most reputable insurance carriers and agencies in the nation, and she has built a large and loyal clientele by way of her commitment to transparency and personalized service.

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