Aetna Medicare Supplement Review
Because of Medicare, many retirees and persons with disabilities can enjoy quality healthcare at a subsidized price. But Medicare has its limitations, which is why the government has partnered up with insurance providers to offer Medicare supplement plans.
These Medigap supplement plans help you cover some or even all of the expenses that your original Medicare plan does not.
You can buy Medicare supplements from many different insurance carriers; in this review, we’ll look at one of the biggest providers: Aetna.
What Is Aetna?
Aetna is currently the third largest health insurance company in the United States. Established in 1853, Aetna was known for selling annuities, life insurance, liability insurance, and auto insurance for over a century.
In 1966, Aetna became a Medicare provider and has been selling health insurance, Medicare plans, Medicare Advantage plans, drug prescription plans, and supplement plans ever since.
In 2018, CVS Health (another powerhouse in the healthcare industry) closed a merger with Aetna for almost $70 billion.
Aetna currently holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 4.5 rating across the board from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
What Medigap Supplement Plans Does Aetna Offer?
Aetna offers a variety of Medicare supplement plans across the United States. They mainly offer supplement Plans A, B, F, G, and N, although Plan C may be available in select states.
All of the below Medigap supplement plans are offered in every state except Alaska, Connecticut, D.C., Hawaii, Maine, and Massachusetts, unless otherwise specified.
Medicare supplement plans are standardized, except in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, where benefits may vary. Aside from those states, plan benefits are the same, regardless of your insurance carrier.
Medigap supplement plans don’t include coverage for dental, nursing home care, assisted living, hearing aids, eye exams, or eyeglasses.
Supplement Plan A
On top of basic Medicare coverage, Supplement Plan A also covers the following in full:
- Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance and costs, up to 365 days after benefits are exhausted
- Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- First three pints of blood used in any medical procedure
Supplement Plan B
Supplement Plan B has the same coverage as Plan A, plus full coverage of the Part A deductible.
Supplement Plan C
Supplement Plan C is only offered in Michigan, New Jersey, and Vermont.
Plan C adds onto the Plan B coverage with additional:
- Part B deductible
- Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care coinsurance
- Foreign Travel Emergency (80% of approved costs, up to plan limit)
Although popular, this plan is being phased out and will no longer be offered to new beneficiaries after January 1, 2020.
Supplement Plan F
Supplement Plan F is not available in Vermont.
Plan F is the most popular plan because it covers all Medicare-approved charges. This means that a patient with Plan F coverage won’t have any Medicare-related out-of-pocket expenses such as coinsurance, deductibles, and the like.
This plan has the same benefits as Plan C, except it also includes coverage for Part B excess charges. There is also an option of Plan F that has a lower premium, but a high Part A deductible of $2300.
Supplement Plan F, like Supplement Plan C, will not be made available to new enrollees by January 1, 2020.
Supplement Plan G
Supplement Plan G is not available in New York.
Plan G is the second-most popular Medicare supplement plan after Plan F. It has everything in Plan F, except for the Part B deductible. Patients with Plan G have to meet the $185 deductible before their benefits can kick in, but they also pay lower monthly premiums.
Supplement Plan N
Supplement Plan N is not available in New York.
Supplement Plan N is a low-cost alternative to Plan C, except without a Part B deductible. You also have to pay a copayment for office and emergency room visits.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans: Comparison Table
|Aetna Medicare Supplement Plan Offerings|
|Part A hospital coinsurance + 365 days after end of benefit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes**||Yes||Yes***|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part B coinsurance||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|First 3 pints of blood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part A deductible||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part B deductible||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Part B excess charges||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|SNF care coinsurance||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Foreign travel emergency||No||No||80%||80%||80%||80%||80%|
Yes = 100% covered
No = 0% covered
*based on the 2016 Aetna monthly supplemental premiums for a 65-year-old non-smoker male
**For a lower supplemental premium, the high-deductible option of Supplement Plan F has benefits that only kick in after the insured meets the deductible of $2300.
***100% covered except for a small co-payment of $20 per office visit and $50 per emergency room visit.
How Much Do Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
The actual cost of your Aetna Medicare supplement plan will depend on many factors.
Your age, gender, health status, and zip code all affect your Medigap premiums. Aetna is “attained-age rated”, which means that your rates are based on your current age. Your premiums will go up as you get older and to account for inflation.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plan Enrolment
When you enroll is also another impacting factor. There is the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, the 6-month period after you receive your original Medicare benefits (on the month of your 65th birthday). If you apply during this period, you pay premium (lower) rates.
If you apply after that period, and you have pre-existing health conditions or are a smoker, you will be charged standard rates.
Other Aetna Medigap Plan Features
All Medigap plans, regardless of insurer, offer the same benefits—but that doesn’t that price is the only difference. Each insurer offers a unique experience to their clients. All other things equal, it can be a dealbreaker.
Aetna Medicare Plans offers the following to their beneficiaries:
- Easy payment plans from annual payments to recurring monthly payments
- Intuitive online portal
- Access to claims, reimbursement, and enrollment forms
- Access to file claim and reimbursement status
- 12-month lock-in rate, no increases in the first year
- 30-day no-obligation trial period
- Access to 880,000 healthcare providers around the U.S.
- Household discounts for up to 2 people
- Guaranteed renewable plans that cannot be cancelled due to health conditions
- Responsive customer service hotline and live chat
For all the benefits of choosing Aetna, there are a few downsides. To enroll, you have to call or email; they still don’t have hassle-free online enrollment. You also need to write a physical letter if you want to cancel or switch policies.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans: Our Final Thoughts
Aetna is one of the best providers of Medicare supplement plans thanks to their competitive rates, stable increases, and great customer service. If you’re looking for a reliable yet affordable Medigap provider, Aetna is an easy choice to make.