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Cigna expands Medicare Advantage offerings to 67 new counties in 2021

Cigna will offer telehealth services to all MA members, including virtual visits with behavioral health providers at no cost.

Cigna will be adding Medicare Advantages plans in new communities next year as well as offering updated services in both new and old locations, the company announced this week.

In 2021, Cigna will expand its MA plans into 67 new counties in five new states, with both HMO and PPO plans available. The new markets will be in Ohio, Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah and New Mexico. Additionally, it is broadening its PPO offerings in more than 150 of its existing communities.

To help facilitate its geographical growth, Cigna's network will add over 25,000 physicians throughout its territory.

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With these expansions, Cigna will offer plans in almost 370 counties across 23 states, a 22% increase in county representation from the year before. In every market that Cigna covers, it will provide a $0 premium plan option for the upcoming year.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

With these new locations also come new service offerings for 2021.

Cigna will offer telehealth services to all MA members, including virtual visits with behavioral health providers at no cost. It is also adding telehealth physical therapy services to its MA plans following less complex procedures.

The company will also offer six prescription drug plans for 2021, three branded by Cigna and three branded by Express Scripts. All six plans have $0 copay options for select medications when ordered by mail.

Additionally, some of the plans will participate in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Part D Senior Savings Model, which provides insulin for copays of $35 or less.

To help address the social determinants of health, Cigna is starting the Healthy Benefits Plus program in select markets. The program gives customers a card with a monthly allowance of up to $30 to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.

THE LARGER TREND

The 2021 Medicare Annual Election Period begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Plans selected during that time will begin on January 1, 2021.

Ahead of the Annual Election Period, Cigna rebranded its health services portfolio with the launch of Evernorth. It includes Cigna's health services, as well as outside partners in pharmacy solutions, benefits management and care solutions.

It is also expanding its Affordable Care Act footprint in 2021 with the addition of 79 new counties.

Earlier this summer, Cigna and its partner Oscar announced small business health plans. Plan benefits include free 24/7 virtual doctor-visits, $3 drug copays, member support services, access to Cigna Behavioral Health's specialized coaching programs and its 24/7 crisis helpline, and admittance to multiple Cigna networks of physicians, specialists and hospitals.

Outside of expanding its coverage options for the upcoming year, Cigna found itself in a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly submitting $1.4 billion worth of false MA claims.

ON THE RECORD

"Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen a significant change in how people want to receive care, and these patterns vary based on regions of the country and individual preferences," said Brian Evanko, president of Cigna's government business.

"We're offering our customers more options than ever before, so they can seek affordable, high-quality care in a way that meets their lifestyle – whether that's in-person, over the phone or virtually. No matter the setting, our Medicare Advantage plans ensure our valued customers get the proper preventive care, chronic condition management and emotional support they need during these challenging times."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org