Cigna’s 2021 Improved Health Plans to Expand Member Base

Cigna Corporation CI recently unveiled its Medicare Advantage plans for the next year. The health care provider boasts a strong Medicare Advantage (MA) network across the United States, wherein it provides coverage to more than 500,000 members, spanning across 18 states and the District of Columbia.

The company’s MA plans for 2021 will have certain enhanced features on the back of which Cigna intends to venture into 67 new counties next year. Through the same plans, the health care provider also aims to penetrate into the markets of five new states in 2021 – Ohio, Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah and New Mexico.

During 2021 Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) from Oct 15 to Dec 7, the company’s members will have access to diverse and cost-effective MA plans, which includes a varied portfolio of HMO and PPO plans. The health plans will also entail a $0 premium plan across every market. This is likely to boost Cigna’s presence by 22% across the United States in 2021.

Overall, Cigna will offer health plans across 369 counties in the next year. Also, in 2021, it will specifically provide PPO offerings across 154 counties, which comes under its present footprint.

Features of 2021 Health Plans

Cigna’s MA customers can avail telehealth services through which they will get access to behavioral health providers through video and audio at no costs. Due to stringent social distancing measures, patients have been compelled to resort to telehealth services in order to avail medical help. Inclusion of telehealth services, thus, is immensely beneficial for members seeking high-quality care in the comfort of their homes.

Moreover, virtual physical therapy services have been included for the first time in the company’s MA plans in a bid to help members by easing complex procedures at home. Majority of the health plans for 2021 will also venture outside of traditional Medicare offerings to include vision, dental, fitness, and discharge meal benefits. The health care provider will also be taking care of nutrition for its members. Case in point, Cigna will be introducing Healthy Benefits Plus in specified markets next year. The program provides a produce card with monthly allowance of up to $30 for enabling customers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Considering the company’s plans for expanding market reach in 2021, Cigna has included more than 25,000 physicians across the areas it serves. Working closely with physicians has been benefiting the company for quite some time, as a result of which above 85% of Cigna’s customers are looked after by doctors, who themselves are in a value-based arrangement. Also, the health care provider intends to benefit people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid by providing Dual Special Needs Plan.

Furthermore, Cigna intends to provide six cost-effective standalone Prescription Drug Plans in the next year across several states. Through its Medicare Supplement plans, the company also aims to aid members in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Moreover, Cigna has extended contracts and teamed up with several healthcare systems for bolstering its partner networks, the most recent one being Dignity Health. The healthcare provider has also been intent on enhancing its telehealth services suite, which has been witnessing a surge in demand triggered by the pandemic. This is likely to position the healthcare provider well for long-term growth.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) health care provider have gained 12.1% in a year compared with the industry’s rally of 30.1%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other health care providers, such as Humana Inc. HUM and UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH have also recently rolled out their 2021 Medicare Advantage plans.

Another stock in the medical space, Magellan Health, Inc. MGLN has developed telehealth services.

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