Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 17, 2022

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Many different groups of people seek health insurance. Employers and individuals are two such groups. Employers are seeking insurance coverage for their employees, while individuals are seeking coverage for themselves and their families. With so many insurance providers out there, it can be difficult to choose the right provider.

Two well-known network providers of group insurance policies are Aetna and Cigna. However, what may not be well known is that both of them offer additional policies for individuals and their families.


With the corporate headquarters located in Hartford, Connecticut, Aetna is a health insurance company that offers health insurance policies for all employers throughout all 50 states in the U.S. These products are available for small employers and large, national employers. In certain states, individual policies are available as well.

Employer Group Policies

Many employers choose Aetna for their employees because Aetna offers quality affordable health insurance options. They also possess extensive access to provider networks for members to use. Health care networks include more than 1 million health care professionals, with over half a million alone seen in the area of primary care doctors and specialists.

Like many other insurance companies, Aetna offers group medical insurance. They also offer pharmacy and dental insurance plans. Unlike other companies, Aetna has a few other types of plans such as one for behavioral health or life and disability. In addition, this insurance company also has the Aetna Medicare Advantage. This allows members to have access to the company’s approximately 1.2 million health care providers worldwide. Lastly, for those with Medicaid plans, Aetna offers management services.

As a member of an Aetna policy, the following additional wellness products and discounts may be available:

  • Aetna Book Discount Program – discounts on prices for such items as books and DVDs
  • Aetna Fitness Discount Program – discounts on prices for fitness equipment, products, and gym membership rates
  • Health Assessment (Simple Steps To a Healthier Life) – online health assessment
  • Aetna Natural Products and Services Discount Program – discounts on prices for vitamins and services including acupuncture and massage therapy
  • Aetna Weight Management Discount Program – individual assistance and planning for those seeking weight loss
  • Aetna Wellness Counseling – information from health educators
  • Beginning Right Maternity Program – information throughout all phases of pregnancy
  • Informed Health Line – 24-hour telephone line to ask questions from a medical health care professional
  • Simple Steps to a Healthier Life – web-based tools to encourage wellness and health
  • Vital Savings by Aetna – save on specific health products and services
  • Zagat Discounts – discount on premium membership prices with Zagat

It is important to note that these discounts are not insured benefits but simply discounted rates available to Aetna members. However, some of the programs may require employer purchase and inclusion into the group policy and are not available automatically to Aetna members.

Aetna HealthFund Products

A consumer-directed health plan gives individuals the option of having more control over their healthcare costs. Aetna offers a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and Health Savings Account (HSA).

With these products, you may have a lower premium but a higher deductible, compared to a traditional health insurance plan. You may have a special account to assist in paying for specific health-related expenses. Coverage for preventive care would be at 100%.

Individual Plans

For those individuals (and their families) seeking insurance coverage directly from Aetna and not through an employer group plan, many of the same types of products are available. This would include medical, dental, and pharmacy coverage.

Vision insurance is also available, as well as disability and life insurance products. For those needing Medicare insurance, Aetna can help. For those seeking alternative medical health plans, Aetna has special Health Expense Funds. For those young adults just starting out in life, Aetna even has a plan specifically tailor-made for students.

Aetna insurance offers many products for a variety of groups and individuals. Another company that offers group and individual health insurance policies is Cigna. Cigna is very similar to Aetna but has a worldwide reach, which is appealing to those who travel and conduct business internationally.

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Cigna is a global health services provider, servicing employers in 29 different countries, including the U.S. With corporate headquarters located in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Cigna customers add up to over 65 million worldwide.

However, even with such a large international presence, Cigna can also assist individuals and families who seek coverage on their own. The following types of services and plans are available from Cigna:

  • Individual and Family Plans
  • Cigna International Plans
  • Cigna Medicare Services

Individual and Family Plans

Individuals seeking coverage on their own with Cigna will encounter the freedom to pick their own doctors. Referrals are not required. If you utilize a medical professional who is enrolled in Cigna’s Open Access Network, greater savings are possible.

Prescription drug coverage is also available and also includes access to Cigna Home Delivery Pharmacy. In addition, dental insurance is available to assist with preventative dental care. All of these plans also offer health wellness and discount programs as well as a 24/7 nurse hotline.

Cigna International Plans

For those interested in international health coverage, the following products are available from Cigna:

  • International Medical Insurance
  • International Medical Insurance Plus
  • International Emergency Evacuation
  • International Vision and Dental

Cigna Medicare Services

The following Medicare services are available from Cigna:

  • CIGNA Medicare Rx (PDP)- a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan is available nationwide in the U.S. It offers plans with low premiums, no deductible, and even no co-pay amounts.
  • CIGNA Medicare Select Plus Rx (HMO) – This plan is available only in Arizona. Medicare prescription drug coverage is available with no monthly premium and no deductible. It also includes low co-pay amounts for doctor visits.

Comparison between Aetna and Cigna

Aetna and Cigna both offer employer group plans for health insurance. However, the focus of Aetna is centered more on the benefits to the employees, offering an expansive medical provider network and providing additional information and resources to promote wellness and health.

Cigna, on the other hand, focuses more on offering widespread coverage worldwide, not just in the U.S.

Whether you are an employer seeking to provide health insurance benefits to your employee, or an individual seeking a policy for his or her family,  Cigna versus Aetna both offer products to meet your needs.

The cost of a policy and the scope of coverage of the policy will influence what health insurance policy you will choose. Understanding the scope of coverage provided by Cigna vs Aetna will help you, the consumer, decide what is right for you.