Aetna Insurance Reviews

Aetna Medicare insurance includes Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D Prescription coverage. Aetna Medicare Advantage plans include both HMO and PPO options, with all of the HMO plans having $0 premiums. Aetna Medicare Part D plans start at $7.20 a month

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Dec 18, 2020

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Aetna Medicare

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Aetna is one of the biggest names in health insurance across the U.S. As of 2020, Aetna stood as the third-largest health insurance company, behind only United Health Group and Anthem based on revenue and enrolled members. Aetna provides individual health insurance, group coverage, and Medicare plans to more than 23 million people across the country.

This Aetna Medicare review will focus on the company’s Medicare plans, but we have a full Aetna review as well if you need more company information. Read on to learn about Aetna Medicare plans and coverage, and to look at Aetna Medicare quotes.

Before you decide to buy Aetna Medicare insurance, make sure you have compared your options.

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What is Aetna?

Aetna originally started out as a fire insurance company founded in 1819 in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1853, the company shifted course, incorporating as Aetna Life Insurance Company. Diversification began in 1891 with the addition of accident insurance, leading the way for Aetna’s entry into the health insurance market in 1899.

Aetna expanded into the global insurance market in 1960 when they purchased a Canadian life insurance company. The company’s diverse interests took a turn in 1996, when Aetna sold off all of its property and casualty insurance, focusing on the health insurance market; that focus was enhanced by a merger with U.S. Healthcare. By 2000, Aetna was known as solely a health insurance company and was on its way to becoming a giant.

The company has been serving the Medicare market since 1966. They were quick to enter the Medicare Advantage market under the Affordable Care Act. A proposed merger with Humana that would have made the combined company a force to be reckoned with in the Medicare industry was killed in the courts in 2017. The merger did not stop Aetna from adding 250,000 Medicare members in the first quarter of 2018 alone and moving up the list of biggest Medicare providers in the country.

Aetna’s merger with CVS, which was concluded in 2018, does still have an impact on Medicare, according to a Kaiser Foundation study. The merger makes Aetna and CVS a force to be reckoned with in health care.

Aetna Medicare plans are available in most states, although not all. Health plans are sold directly through the company website. Aetna Medicare provider phone numbers can be found through a search.

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What Types of Insurance Plans Are Offered?

Not surprisingly, Aetna has a full range of Medicare products available: Advantage, Part D, and Supplement. The availability of insurance plans varies from state to state; we used a Southern California zip code as our sample for the purpose of this health insurance coverage review.

Aetna Medicare Advantage Plans

There are five Aetna Medicare Advantage plans for 2021 in our sample area, and all but one include prescription drug coverage. There are three HMO plans, all of which are zero-premium, and one PPO plan. All of the plans have a $0 deductible.

Medicare Plus is the first HMO plan. Copays for primary care and specialists are both $0. There is likewise no copay for hospital stays. Prescriptions have no deductible and generic drugs are $0. Vision, hearing, and dental insurance are included.

Medicare Select is the next HMO plan. It has $0 copays for either office visits or specialists and a no hospital copay either. Hearing, vision, and dental insurance are also included in this plan.

Like all of the plans, Select includes prescription drug coverage. Tier 1 drugs have a $0 copay, Tier 2 a $5 copay. Tiers 3 and 4 have a $42 and $100 copay respectively, while Tier 5 is covered with a 33% coinsurance.

Medicare Prime is also an HMO plan and is again a $0 premium plan. This plan has similar copay amounts, with no charge for office visits or specialists, but has a lower out of pocket costs maximum. It also has a $0 copay for hospital stays. Fees under the plan are lower in many areas, although prescription drug coverage is the same as the Select plan.

Prime does include limited coverage for hearing, dental, and vision. There is no premium for these services. The main difference between these plans is the out-of-pocket maximum.

Medicare Choice is the only Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO plan among the offerings. Because of the much wider selection of providers offered by a PPO, this plan does have a monthly premium. Primary care visits have a $10 copay, and specialist visits have a $40 copay. Hospital stays have a $225 copay for the first five days, $0 thereafter.

Prescription coverage on this plan is the same as that offered on the HMO plans. This plan includes a prescription eyewear benefit, but dental and hearing coverage are optional and can be added for an additional premium.

The Medicare Eagle plan is the only plan that doesn’t include Part D. It is also a $0 deductible plan, and is an HMO plan.

Aetna Medicare special needs plans (SNP) are available in some states.

Aetna Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug) Plans

In our sample area, there are three Silverscript Part D plans available. All of the plans have $0 deductibles for Tier 1 & 2 drugs.

SmartRx, the lowest-priced plan, has a $445 deductible for Tiers 3, 4, and 5. Copays start at $0 for Tier 1 and $3 for Tier 2, going up from there. There is a $5,000 out-of-pocket maximum with this plan.

Choice has a $250 deductible on Tiers 3, 4, and 5. The Tier 1 copay is $1, Tier 2 is $2, and increase from there, although most copays are lower than with the Select plan. Again, out of pocket maximum is $5,000.

The final plan, Plus, has no insurance deductible at any level. Again, Tier 1 and 2 drugs have copays of $1, and $2 respectively, but the other copays are more in line with the higher rates on the Select plan. Again, the out of pocket limit is $5,000 with this plan.

All of these plans can be purchased to complement a regular Medicare plan, but not one of Aetna’s Advantage plans. All Advantage plans already include Part D except the Eagle plan.

What Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans Are Available?

In our sample area, Aetna offers several of the standardized Medicare Supplement plan options. These can be purchased instead of an Advantage plan to fill in some of the gaps in coverage.

Like all companies, they start at the base level Plan A, which covers coinsurance amounts for medical, hospital, and hospice, along with the first three pints of blood each year.

Additional plans available are B, F, G, and N. F, which offers the most comprehensive coverage of all the standard plans, is available as a high deductible plan in some areas.

Does the Health Insurance Provider Offer Competitive Rates?

As noted, the two HMO Medicare plans from Aetna are $0 premium – this means you do not pay an additional amount beyond your regular Medicare premium. The PPO plan has a monthly premium of $89.

The Aetna site does not offer rates for Supplement plans at this time.

Overall, Aetna’s Medicare plans are well priced for the coverage they provide. The company seems to have made adjustments to rates since the last time we reviewed them; all rates appear to be a flat monthly amount, which makes shopping for Medicare insurance a lot easier.

Are the Ratings and Consumer Reviews Positive?

Medicare star ratings vary by state, but the overall rating for 2021 is 4 out of 5 stars.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance rates Aetna solidly across all states for Medicare, with a 4.5 rating across the board. Although the underlying ratings in each state vary, there is not one state where they offer coverage that ranked any lower. That is a very positive sign for Aetna.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Aetna, Inc. an A+ rating. There is a total of 568 customer complaints on file in the past three years. Given that those customer complaints cover all of Aetna’s approximately 23 million policyholders in all areas of health insurance, that is a really low complaint volume. Only 177 of those customer service complaints were closed in the past 12 months.

Consumer Affairs has 789 reviews of the health insurer, with an overall 1.5-star rating. That rating is based only on the 106 ratings by policyholders submitted in the past year. Bearing in mind again the size of this company, and the fact that these ratings apply to all of the company’s insurance products and not only Medicare, those numbers are again quite low.

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What Are the Pros and Cons?

Let’s break it down into a short list of pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Pros

  • A large company that is financially stable with a strong financial rating
  • Several $0 premium health insurance plans to choose from
  • All Advantage plans include hearing, vision insurance, and dental coverage

Cons

  • All of the $0 premium plans are HMO, and there is only one PPO option
  • Not all of the company’s ratings are as high as we’d like

Aetna Medicare: What’s the Bottom Line?

With the acquisition by pharmacy giant CVS complete, we have not seen much change in the way Medicare plans are handled. As of the time of this review, Aetna has some good plans at good prices and appears to have a pretty good reputation as well. Those in the market for Medicare coverage will find their approach straightforward and their options affordable and easy to choose from.

If you have found an affordable Aetna Medicare plan, that’s great news. But make sure it’s really the best deal before you buy.

Get free Medicare quotes right now.

 

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