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.
|Varies with plan and state|
Ease of enrollment
Ways you can enroll
|Email, phone, scheduled callback or in-home visit|
What plans are available?
|Focus on A, B, F, High-deductible F, G and N; others depend upon state|
How soon can services be used?
|Immediately, in your Medigap Open Enrollment Period|
Ease of access
|Online email 24/7; phone 8:00 AM-7:00 PM CST, Mon-Sat|
Limited to which doctors?
|Any doctors in the U.S. who accept Medicare assignment|
Required for enrollment?
|No, not during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period|
Is renewal automatic despite health conditions?
|Yes, as long as premiums are paid|
Available to multi-member households?
|Yes, but varies by state|
Average time to process a claim?
Are resources available to help with decisions?
|Yes, local sales meetings, schedule a call, order info kit|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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