FINANCE

Cigna Health Insurance Company Review | Small and Large Company Health Plans

If you’re an employer, looking for a group health insurance, our Cigna health insurance company review will help you know if this company is right for you. There are many insurance companies that offer group health insurance but very few can compare to the prestigious list of Fortune 500 companies that use Cigna to provide health insurance for their employees.

While Cigna also provides individual health insurance and Medicare plans to consumers in more than 15 states across the country, their main focus is providing group benefits to small and large companies in the U.S and around the globe. This is why Cigna makes our list of the Best New York Health Insurance Companies.

Cigna is a global health service leader that provides medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance to consumers and businesses. In 2016 Cigna was the sixth largest health insurance provider in the world calculated by earned revenue.

Their Global network includes more than 1 million relationships with health care professionals, clinics and facilities including:

  • 96,000 Behavioral health care professionals
  • 70,000 Pharmacies
  • 76,000 Vision care providers
  • 140,000+ Dental facilities

If you are a small business owner lucky enough to qualify for a Cigna health insurance plan, you know the importance of Cigna’s plan diversity and vast network of doctors and hospitals.

Cigna Health Insurance Company History

Not many insurance companies can date back to the days when Kings ruled most of the world but Cigna is one of them. The insurance company was founded in 1792 by a group of Philadelphia citizens. They formed the Insurance Company of North America (INA) which was the first marine insurance company in the United States.

In 1865, the Governor of Connecticut signed a special law creating Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CG). In 1919, the company began its move into the health insurance market.

The name Cigna was formed in 1982 through a merger of INA Corporation and Connecticut General Corporation.

Cigna is headquartered in Bloomfield, CT and Philadelphia, PA. Their customer service number for employers and employees is: 1.800.244.6224

Health Plans for Small Businesses (51 to 250 employees)

Cigna Guided Solutions

Guided Solutions provides a suite of flexible group benefit solutions including medical and prescriptions, dental, vision, disability, life and accident insurance. If you’re an employer with more than 51 employees (New York, 100 eligible employees), Cigna is offering its own Private Retail Exchange solution where clients and eligible employees can access health insurance and ancillary products online. Their online portal allows your employees to sign up for benefits, change family membership and view claim processing.

Cigna Guided Solutions offers your employees access to two networks:

Cigna LocalPlus®: Gives your employees cost effective access to local quality doctors, specialists and hospitals where they live.

Open Access Plus (OAP): Gives employees more choices and convenience for medical care with direct access to Cigna’s national network.

Health Plans For Medium To Large Businesses (250+ Employees)

Cigna Funding Solutions

Cigna Funding Solutions offers two options to employers that helps employers and employees save money with predictable premiums and medical expenses.

Level Funding Program:

The level funding health program combines traditional fully insured medical insurance with a level premium that does not change for one whole year. Premiums are calculated on the employees’ health and medical history. Medical bills are paid by Cigna and if there are less claims than anticipated, funds are refunded to the company/employees.

Self-funding with Stop Loss:

Very similar to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, this plan requires a third party administer (TPA) and claims are paid via an employer’s dedicated bank account. The account can be funded by the employer or employee through premium payments.
Medical expenses or claims are paid from the bank account up to a certain amount, i.e. deductibles, coinsurance. Once met, the balance of claims are paid by the insurance carrier, Cigna.

Since this is not a fully insured medical plan such as the Level Funding Program, the employer has additional benefit flexibility, lower premiums, employee funding and so on. But the employer also takes on more risk is responsible for all covered claims. Cigna offers optional Individual and Aggregate Stop Loss protection to offset that risk.

Cigna Health Plan Options

Like many insurance companies, Cigna offers your company a diverse range of health care options. You can choose the plan or plans that fit your employee’s needs.

HMO Plan

The Cigna HMO Plan is an in network only plan. You are required to choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and if you need to see a specialist, a referral must be provided by your PCP. There are no out of network benefits or reimbursement with this plan.

HMO Point of Service (POS) plan

Similar to their HMO plan, this plan combines in network medical care and out of network services. A PCP is required to see a specialist in network but you also have the freedom go out of network with this plan as long as your PCP provides a referral.

Open Access Plus In Network

Cigna’s OAP plan is an in network only plan but gives employees access to Cigna’s vast national network of doctors and hospitals. For your health care to be covered by the plan, you must choose a health care professional who is in the Cigna Open Access Plus network. Referrals are not needed to see a specialist but any out of network care is not covered.

Open Access Plus plan (OAP)

You choose the doctor or facility that works best for you and you are not required to choose a PCP. You have the freedom to go in network or out of network and still be reimbursed for all your medical care services.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Cigna’s PPO plan lets your employees choose a network or doctor of their choice. In network and out of network medical care is covered.

Cigna Health Insurance For Your Small or Large Business

If you are looking for a group health plan which not only serves the small business market but also the large business market, Cigna is probably one of the top insurers in this field. Employers have numerous plan options and access to a vast network of quality doctors and health care facilities.

Your employees will love having Cigna as their health care provider. We can help “shop” a health plan for you and compare plan options side by side so you can make an educated decision.

At Healthplansny, we work with the best health insurance companies in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We are not beholden to any particular insurance company. We are independent agents and we work for you, our client! If you would like a free group health consultation, give our office a call at: 800-514-3513


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There are more than 800 life insurance companies in the industry and finding the best group term life insurance companies for your small business can be overwhelming. Just because you have your group health insurance or business insurance with one particular company, it does not necessarily mean that company will be the best choice for term life insurance or have the lowest rates.

Since we work with dozens of the top rated life insurance companies, we can help take the mystery out of finding the best term life provider for your business. The biggest benefit to representing multiple carriers is that we can find the best company for you based on your specific business needs.

Our list of best group term life insurance companies can change at any given time depending on which companies are currently offering the best products and pricing.

But let’s first discuss what group term life insurance is, how it works and why it’s important in your overall benefit package for your employees.

What is Group Term Life Insurance?

Group term life insurance is a benefit offered by employers to help employees have easy access to life insurance coverage. It is a single contract or policy that covers an entire group of employees and is often provided in addition to other group benefits such as group health insurance, dental insurance and disability insurance.

Group life is normally offered to the employee free of charge and a standard maximum death benefit of 1X salary or up to $50,000 of death benefit. Policies are offered on a guaranteed issue basis, meaning no medical exam is required from any of the employees who will be insured.

How Does Group Term Life Insurance Work?

Term life insurance is the most common form of group life insurance however, some employers do offer group whole life or group universal life programs as well. Term insurance is temporary coverage and eventually expires when the term is over.

Group life coverage can usually continue until the employee reaches age 65 or age 70. After age 65, the death benefit will decrease each year until the employee reaches age 70. Then most companies will not offer coverage to any employee over 70. The reason for this is simple; most group policies do not require medical background checks so insurance companies

feel offering life insurance coverage to older employees without a medical history review is risky business.

Typically, an employer that offers $50,000 of coverage at no charge to the employee can expect to pay a life rate per $1000 of .026 to .055 per month per employee. Premium costs also depend on the industry you are in, the number of employees, their ages and their genders.

If your employees want more than $50,000 of coverage you can add voluntary group life or supplemental group life, which allows employees to buy more coverage at their own expense. However, depending on the insurance company and the amount of death benefit being offered, your employees may have to submit to a medical exam or answer medical questions to qualify.

Supplemental or Voluntary Group Term Life Insurance

Supplemental life insurance is paid by the employee and allows employees to purchase additional coverage. Employees can buy more coverage in multiples of their annual salary up to a maximum amount being offered by the insurance carrier.

Spousal coverage is also available and paid for by the employee. Most group life providers will not offer more than $100,000 coverage for a spouse and $500,000 for the employee since insurers do not collect health risk data from everyone under the policy.

Is Group Term Life Insurance Taxable?

According to the IRS; IRC section 79 provides an exclusion for the first $50,000 of group-term life provided under a policy carried directly or indirectly by an employer. There are no tax consequences if the total amount of such policies does not exceed $50,000. The imputed cost of coverage in excess of $50,000 must be included in income. Using the IRS Premium Table, excess coverage amounts are subject to social security and Medicare taxes.

Should You Offer A Group Life Insurance Program?

According to LIMRA (Life Insurance Research and Marketing Association), group life insurance covers more than 45% of the U.S. population. If it weren’t for group life policies, most Americans would have no life insurance coverage at all. A group life program along with other available benefits are widely sought after by many employees. Group benefits help employers to attract and retain the highest caliber of candidates for employment.

Group health insurance and a retirement program are the top 2 requested benefits requested by many employees. Life insurance is also one of the most requested benefits. For a business owner to keep their benefits package competitive, it’s important to include life insurance.

Best Group Term Life Insurance Companies

As an employer, you will probably find most insurance carriers that offer group health or group dental plans, also offer a group life insurance program. The number of companies participating in the arena is exhaustive. However, there are a handful of group life providers that stand out among the crowd.

The following list is in no particular order but they are some of the best group life insurance companies to consider.

How We Rate The Top Group Life Insurance Companies

Customer Service: Many business owners are too busy running their business and don’t have time to deal with servicing or billing problems. Insurance companies that do not provide excellent customer service did not make the list.

Financial Ratings: The financial strength of an insurance company should always be considered when looking for any type of insurance. It’s important that the company will be able to pay claims and be in business for the long term. The rating agencies we follow are:

A.M. Best: Provides objective opinion regarding an insurer’s, issuer’s, or financial obligation’s relative creditworthiness. Their top rating is A++ – Superior
Standard and Poors (S&P): Measures the credit quality of an insurer and the ability to meet their financial obligations. Top rating is AAA – Extremely Strong
Moodys: Provides opinion of future creditworthiness of an insurers ability to pay claims in relation to the investments and current book of business. Top rating is Aaa – Highest
Fitch: Fitch credit ratings provide an opinion on the relative ability of a company to meet their financial commitments, such as interest, repayment of principal, and insurance claims. Fitch’s’ highest rating is AAA – Exceptionally Strong

Competitive Pricing:

While financial stability is essential, competitive pricing is just as important. You don’t want to pay more to one company when another company is offering the same coverage at a lower price.

The 6 Best Group Term Life Insurance Providers

1. MetLife

MetLife is a leader in the group benefits field. They are one of oldest and largest life insurance companies in the world and holds a 32.65% total market share of all group life insurance policies in force.  They specialize in the large group marketplace for companies with more than 100 employees. The company also works with smaller businesses but you must have at least 5 employees to qualify for their group life plan. Their policy pricing is competitive but it is not the lowest.

MetLife offers basic group term life and group basic group whole life. Additional coverage includes: supplemental life, dependent life, Voluntary Retiree Life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D). MetLife makes our list for financial strength and a vast array of group life options.

MetLife Financial Ratings:

A.M Best rating – A+ Moody’s rating – Aa3 Fitch rating – AA-

S&P rating – AA-

2. Prudential

Prudential is one of the best-known insurance companies in the world (The Rock). The company has a 15.85% market share of the group life insurance field making them number 2. Founded in 1875 it has over 100 years experience in the group marketplace and insures more than 20 million people.

Prudential offers basic employer-paid and employee paid term Life, whole and universal life as well as:

Spousal and Dependent Term Life Waiver of Premium Conversion to permanent insurance

Accelerated Death Benefit

With very high financial ratings and very competitive pricing, Prudential is one of the best group life insurance companies in the business.

Prudential Insurance Financial Ratings:

A.M Best– A+ Moody’s – A1 Fitch– A+

S&P– AA-

3. Cigna

Cigna is a global health benefits leader and provides medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance to consumers and businesses. The company has a total market share of 9.64% of group life insurance policies in force making them number 3.

Cigna offers employer paid and employee paid group term life insurance and in 2016 it was the sixth largest health insurance provider in the world calculated by earned revenue. Learn more here: Cigna Health Insurance Company Review.

Cigna Financial Ratings

Standard & Poor’s – AA- Fitch – A+ A.M. Best – A

Moody’s – A1

4. Hartford Insurance Company

The Hartford Life Insurance Company is part of The Hartford Financial Services Group, which was established in 1810. The company is one of the world’s largest insurance and investment companies. The company has been providing group benefits for more than 60 years and protects the lives of over 12 million people. They offer a full line of flexible group life options but most notably they are probably one of the most competitive when it comes to pricing.

Hartford’s Financial Ratings:

A.M Best – A- Moody’s – Baa2

S&P – BBB+

5. Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial was founded in 1905 and the company specializes in financial services, individual insurance and is one of the top providers of group life insurance in the industry. The company holds a 2.83% total market share of the group life insurance industry. They are not the largest provider but they are a very solid financial insurance company.

Lincoln Financial offers a wide range of group life benefits and their pricing is very competitive. Some notable options of their program are:

Waiver of Premium Accelerated Death Benefit Portability lets employees keep their coverage, even if they leave their company.

Conversion privilege to permanent insurance without Evidence of Insurability (EOI).

Lincoln Financials’ Ratings:

A.M Best – A+ Moody’s – A1 S&P – AA-

Fitch – A+

6. SunLife Financial

SunLife Financial makes our list because they have been providing insurance solutions to consumers for more than 150 years. They are a leader the benefits marketplace and hold a 2.31% market share of the group life insurance industry. Sun life is our front-runner for being the most competitive in group life pricing.

Sun Life offers a variety of solutions for employers and business owners can customize the best plan for their company:

Basic Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Optional Life and AD&D Dependent Life Voluntary Life and AD&D

Voluntary AD&D

SunLife Financial Ratings:

A.M Best – A+ Moody’s – Aa3

S&P – AA-

Group Term Life Insurance Quotes For Your Small Business

If your small business is looking for group life insurance quotes, we can help. We represent more than 35 insurance companies and can provide you with competitive pricing from the insurance companies on this page and many more.

We can help you compare pricing, benefits and features side by side so you can make an educated decision about which carrier would be the best fit for your business as well as your employees. Just call our office at: 800-514-3513


Category: Small business

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