Aetna

For decades, Aetna has made health care costs more affordable for seniors by offering stable and predictably priced Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.

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8.8
Grand Score
8
User Score
8.8
Grand Score
8
User Score
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Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also called 'Medigap') were created to help seniors deal with out-of-pocket costs not covered by Original Medicare’s Part A and Part B. Ten different plans (denoted by letters between A and N) offer different levels and combinations of coverage, regardless of what insurance provider sells it. However, each provider has the freedom to offer some or all of the plans in the states of its choice. It can also price plans as it wishes. It is in ‘pricing’ and ‘plan availability’ that one provider distinguishes itself from another. If in your state Aetna offers the plan of your choice at a good price, it could be the best Medigap option for you. Aetna is a major insurance company that entered the Medicare Supplement market early and has proven itself to be stable and predictable. It offers only an average number of plans but is a very popular provider. 

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 8/10
Ease of enrollment 10/10
Coverage 9/10
Waiting period 10/10
Customer support 8/10
Doctor restrictions 10/10
Health exam 10/10
Renewal 10/10
Multi-policy discount 8/10
Claim turnaround 8/10
Decision-making assistance 10/10
Cost
Monthly premium
Varies with plan and state
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll
Email, phone, scheduled callback or in-home visit
Coverage
What plans are available?
Focus on A, B, F, High-deductible F, G and N; others depend upon state
Waiting period
How soon can services be used?
Immediately, in your Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Customer support
Ease of access
Online email 24/7; phone 8:00 AM-7:00 PM CST, Mon-Sat
Doctor restrictions
Limited to which doctors?
Any doctors in the U.S. who accept Medicare assignment
Health exam
Required for enrollment?
No, not during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Renewal
Is renewal automatic despite health conditions?
Yes, as long as premiums are paid
Multi-policy discount
Available to multi-member households?
Yes, but varies by state
Claim turnaround
Average time to process a claim?
14 days
Decision-making assistance
Are resources available to help with decisions?
Yes, local sales meetings, schedule a call, order info kit
Age Score:
0
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
9
75-85 Years
8
85-Above

The initial decision regarding the choice of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan will take place around your 65th birthday. While Aetna’s website is not the most comprehensive and it pushes you towards contacting the company or an intermediary for further information, at age 65 that is not an insurmountable obstacle. It does offer several ways of enrolling. Not having easy access to online information would be a greater inconvenience as you age and perhaps consider moving to Aetna from another company. Beyond that one drawback, Aetna offers few, but excellent plans that serve a senior’s needs regardless of age. Aetna also offers an upfront benefit at the outset: a 12-month rate lock in your first policy year. 

Health Score:
10
Great health
10
Good Health
10
Fair Health
10
Poor Health

Deteriorating health may require more frequent visits to doctors and hospitalizations. Copayments and coinsurance can easily become a financial burden. Aetna’s focus on Medicare Supplement Plans F and G encourages the greatest coverage of all. While the premiums for those plans are also the highest, it is at a time when you most need the health care services that you will appreciate not having to worry about paying for them. An added benefit, especially as your health declines, is access to an Aetna nurse phone line, available 24/7. Often, a simple call can save you a trip to your doctor and bring you much-valued peace of mind. 

Pros:

  • Aetna promises a 12-month rate lock, that is, no rate increases during your first year.
  • Aetna offers a full refund if you choose to cancel for any reason during a 30-day Free Look period. 
  • Aetna offers different combinations of plans A, B, F, G and N in different states, and are said to be quite competitive on their plans G and N. 
  • As a member, you will have access to a 24/7 nurse phone line that can answer health care questions.
  • Customer service is said to be excellent at Aetna, with wait times that never exceed five minutes.
  • Aetna is the third largest health insurance provider in the nation, with a long history of stable service.

Cons:

  • Aetna only sells Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 44 states. If you live in AK, CT, HI, ME, MA, WA or DC, Aetna’s policies are not available.
  • Aetna offers a limited number of different plans and does not offer one of the more popular ones: Plan C.
  • Like other providers, if you apply outside of your initial 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, some medical conditions may cause your application to be declined. If approved, you may be charged higher rates or face up to six months delayed coverage of a pre-existing condition.
  • Getting comparative information on their website is not that easy, and there is a constant push to get you to attend a sales meeting near you, schedule a time for them to call you, schedule an in-home visit or order an information kit.

Bottom Line:

Aetna Medicare Supplement plans help limit the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Aetna distinguished itself as a pioneer by offering major medical insurance plans early on and then, when Medicare was signed into law, being one of the first companies to offer Medicare Supplement plans. It is a company that is seen as stable and predictable: two characteristics seniors are looking for in their health care coverage.

FORTUNE magazine chose Aetna for three years running as the most admired company in the ‘Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care’ category. In 2016, Aetna claimed to have nearly 700,000 members enrolled in its Medicare Supplement plans nationwide, an increase of 119,000 over the prior year. This growth would not have happened if Aetna had anything other than a stellar reputation in the senior community.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If plan benefits are all the same insurer to insurer, what distinguishes Aetna? Aetna is known for being competitive on its Plans G and N. It is also known for its good customer service, both on telephone wait times and on the timeliness of policy issuance.

Are there any additional services or perks offered in choosing Aetna? Aetna promises its policyholders a 12-month rate lock, that is, no rate increases during the first year on a policy. It also offers a full refund if you choose to cancel for any reason during a 30-day Free Look period. 

What is your most popular Medicare Supplement plan that is sold through Aetna? Aetna’s Medigap Plan G is becoming an increasing favorite, showing a 13-percent increase in enrollment in a recent survey. The company has made an effort to keep its rate increases low on this plan. Plan G is similar to Plan F, but does not cover the Part B deductible; its premiums are lower to reflect that fact.

More Information:

Product Details 

Overview: Aetna offers Medicare Supplement Insurance plans as a means of covering some of the out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and others not covered by Original Medicare’s Part A and Part B.

  • Package Details: Aetna offers different combinations of Plans A, B, F, G and N in different states. 

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: Policies must comply with Federal and state regulations. You can go to any doctor, anywhere in the U.S., as long as that doctor accepts Medicare assignment. If you enroll during your initial Open Enrollment Period when turning 65, the company must enroll you on a guaranteed basis and cannot drop you as long as you are paying your premiums. At that time, even if you have a disability or health problem, it cannot refuse to sell you any Medigap policy it offers, charge you a higher premium than they charge others who are 65 and older or delay the start of your coverage.

Warranty: Aetna offers a full refund if you choose to cancel for any reason during a 30-day Free Look period. 

Accreditations:  Aetna has not received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but maintains an A+ rating on the BBB website. The parent company is rated A by A.M. Best and A+ by Standard & Poor’s.

Company Details: Aetna was founded in 1850, and grew to become a provider of a broad range of health care products and services, with revenues of $60 billion in 2016. It was a pioneer in major medical policies, as well as Medicare Supplement plans. While perhaps not as well known as United Healthcare/AARP, Humana or Blue Cross, it is considered a top insurer for Medicare Supplement Insurance in the U.S. It enjoys a consistent reputation for quality service, stable rates and financial strength. The company has more than 20 million medical insurance policyholders, with many more in other forms of insurance. Aetna’s Medicare Supplement plans are sold under the Aetna name, as well as under subsidiary companies such as Continental Life or American Continental, always insured by Aetna Health and Life Insurance Company. 

Contact: 

Aetna
151 Farmington Ave
Hartford, CT 06156-7003

Phone: 800-872-3862

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

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