View Contacts

Local News

North Texas

65th birthday brings key decisions regarding health care.

Medicare programs can be complicated. Here are tips your clients can share with their employees, who are 65, or will soon be 65.

What you should know about Medicare.

You might think milestone birthdays stop when you turn 50, but that’s not true. Your 65th birthday is an important milestone, too. That’s when you become eligible for the federal Medicare health insurance program. 

“Turning 65 is an opportunity for Americans to consider Medicare – an affordable health care option that offers hospital coverage and physician visits for those who qualify,” said Aparna Abburi, president of Cigna’s Medicare Advantage business. “Medicare programs can be complicated. Individuals should take inventory of where they are -- from health care, work and financial perspectives -- and also where they are headed, including personal preferences and goals.” 

Don’t wait – timing is important.

Medicare has a seven-month window around your 65th birthday called the Initial Enrollment Period. This period begins three months before your 65th birthday and extends three months past your birthday month. Enrolling outside this window could result in higher premiums on Medicare add-ons, such as Medicare Part B, for the rest of your life due to late enrollment. 

For those who plan to keep working, your path forward depends on the size of your company. If you work for a company with fewer than 20 employees, you generally must sign up for Medicare at age 65. If you work for a larger company, you can keep your company’s plan and enroll in Medicare without penalty later – usually when you retire – or you can enroll in Medicare immediately. However, if you switch to Medicare, your spouse could lose their coverage if they are currently on your company’s insurance. 

If you’ve decided to retire and you’ve already filed for Social Security, the process is much easier. You’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, which cover hospital stays and visits to the doctor, when you turn 65. This is sometimes called Original Medicare. Original Medicare, however, doesn’t include coverage of prescription drugs. 

Original Medicare doesn’t cover everything.

Original Medicare covers hospital and physician expenses, but there are cost-sharing requirements and limits on what is covered. You’ll need to think about how you want to cover things like dental, vision, hearing and pharmacy. You can buy plans to supplement what Medicare covers, or you can buy a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Part C) that covers everything that Medicare covers and provides additional benefits, including, in many cases, prescription drugs (also known as Part D). 

You’ve got options – and lots of them.

With Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and Prescription Drug Plans, there are a lot of choices to make when it comes to what coverage will be best for you. Understanding your budget, health needs, doctor preferences and lifestyle will be important to making the best choice for your particular needs. 

There are plenty of ways to get help.

For more information, visit the Medicare Plan Finder website, call 1-800-MEDICARE, or find local assistance through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. We encourage you to speak with your benefits administrator, who can help you better understand your various options. What’s more, it’s always a good idea to talk with friends and family members who have been through the process. 

Once you’ve chosen your plan, it’s time to use it.

Know the benefits that are available to you. Find out about which wellness checks and preventive screenings are needed for your age and health status, and be sure to get them. Some Medicare Advantage plans have extras, such as gym memberships. These extras can help you actively engage in your own health and well-being.

Cigna and Memorial Hermann reach agreement to keep quality care affordable.

Cigna and Memorial Hermann Health System have reached a multi-year agreement that ensures Cigna customers will have continued access to Memorial Hermann’s hospitals, facilities and providers for quality care at predictable, affordable rates.

The new agreement is structured for long-term stability and improvement of Houston’s health, while further strengthening Cigna and Memorial Hermann’s network relationship.

“We appreciate Memorial Hermann’s commitment to a lasting, value-based relationship that will provide access to quality care for Cigna's customers. I look forward to working with the Memorial Hermann team to deepen this relationship in the years ahead,” said Jim Hickey, President of Cigna's South Texas market.

“Our unequivocal and enduring commitment is to the needs and best interests of the people who live here—to be an advocate for Houston’s long-term health. This new agreement with Cigna is a reflection of that commitment,” said Dr. David L. Callender, President & CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “We’re pleased to work together on behalf of the people we jointly serve and we are grateful to our patients and families for their patience during these uncertain times.”

The announcement comes at an important moment for greater Houston as communities continue to face a variety of challenges due to COVID-19

“We know this is a difficult time for everyone and we are happy we were able to resolve this,” Hickey said. “I’d like to extend thanks to our clients and customers for their patience during these negotiations. We recognize the uncertainty these discussions created and we’re glad we were able to reach an affordable solution without interrupting access to quality care at Memorial Hermann.”

Cigna partners with PBS affiliate KERA on Mental Health News.

Cigna is proud to be a supporter of the KERA Mental Health News initiative in North Texas. In their first year, KERA has explored behavioral health stories across all of their media platforms, including television, radio and digital. These stories showcased the impact of emotional health on our schools, families and workplace.  Earlier this year, North Texas Cigna clients were invited to hear directly from the KERA reporter and producer dedicated to the Mental Health News project who shared stories from their first year of reporting and North Texas behavioral health stories they are working on in 2020.

To learn more about the KERA “On Our Minds” reporting, visit https://www.keranews.org/topic/mental-health-our-minds or reach out to your North Texas Cigna representative.

Where We Are and Whom to Contact

Smaller Business
51-499 employees*

1640 Dallas Parkway, 4th Floor
Plano, TX 75093
Telephone: 972.863.5177

Medical

Jay Saad
Vice President, Sales 
972.863.5176
Jay.Saad@Cigna.com

Frank Marrero
Director of Client Management & Retention 
972.863.4006
Frank.Marrero@Cigna.com

Dental
Gavin Benway
Sales Advisor
469.265.8483
Gavin.Benway@Cigna.com
Medium Business
500 - 4,999 employees**

1640 Dallas Parkway, 4th Floor
Plano, TX 75093
Telephone: 972.863.5400

Medical

Gene Dours
Vice President, Sales 
972.863.5428
Eugene.Dours@Cigna.com

Mike Evans
Vice President, Client Sales
972.863.5554
Michael.Evans@Cigna.com

Dental
Tracy Hampton
Sales Advisor
972.863.5817
Tracy.Hampton@Cigna.com
Large Employers
5,000 or more employees

1640 Dallas Parkway, 4th Floor
Plano, TX 75093
Telephone: 972.863.5400

Medical

Craig Martin
Vice President
972.632.0827
Craig.Martin@Cigna.com

Global Health Benefits

Danielle Turner
713.576.4467
Danielle.Turner@Cigna.com

Individual Private Medical Insurance

Emily Threet
Sales Representative
972.863.5166
Emily.Threet@cigna.com

*In most states, Cigna offers group insurance coverage to employers with 51 or more full-time employees, as well as administrative services for self-funded plan with as few as 25 full-time employees. For more information about your state, contact your Cigna sales representative.

** Medium Business employers have 501 - 4,999 employees or may have more than 5,000 employees and are located in a single state.

Smaller Business
51-499 employees*

For Oklahoma Select Segment sales information, please contact our Plano office:
1640 Dallas Parkway, 4th Floor
Plano, TX 75093
Telephone: 972.863.5400

Medical

Jay Saad
Vice President, Sales 
972.863.5176
Jay.Saad@Cigna.com

Frank Marrero
Director of Client Management & Retention 
972.863.4006
Frank.Marrero@Cigna.com

Dental
Gavin Benway
Sales Advisor
469.265.8483
Gavin.Benway@Cigna.com
Medium Business
500 - 4,999 employees**

For Oklahoma Regional Segment sales information, please contact our Plano office:
1640 Dallas Parkway, 4th Floor
Plano, TX 75093
Telephone: 972.863.5400

Medical

Gene Dours
Vice President, Sales 
972.863.5428
Eugene.Dours@Cigna.com

Mike Evans
Vice President, Client Sales
972.863.5554
Michael.Evans@Cigna.com

 

Dental
Tracy Hampton
Sales Advisor
972.863.5817
Tracy.Hampton@Cigna.com
Large Employers
5,000 or more employees

For Oklahoma Regional Segment sales information, please contact our Plano office:
1640 Dallas Parkway, 4th Floor
Plano, TX 75093
Telephone: 972.863.5400

Medical

Craig Martin
Vice President
972.632.0827
Craig.Martin@Cigna.com

Global Health Benefits

Danielle Turner
713.576.4467
Danielle.Turner@Cigna.com

Individual Private Medical Insurance

Emily Threet
Sales Representative
972.863.5166
Emily.Threet@cigna.com

*In most states, Cigna offers group insurance coverage to employers with 51 or more full-time employees, as well as administrative services for self-funded plan with as few as 25 full-time employees. For more information about your state, contact your Cigna sales representative.

** Medium Business employers have 501 - 4,999 employees or may have more than 5,000 employees and are located in a single state.