Last Updated: January 2021
If you have Medicare, you might find yourself needing additional coverage. A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan might be the next step for you.
In this article, we will review the Medicare Supplement Insurance plans offered by Aetna, their costs and benefits, and how to enroll.
- About Aetna Health Care Company
- What is a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?
- Which Medicare Supplement Plans Does Aetna Offer?
- How Much Do Aetna Supplement Insurance Plans Cost?
- Benefits Provided By Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance
- Can I Switch From One Aetna Supplement Plan To Another?
- How to Enroll in an Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
- Alternatives to Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance
About Aetna Health Care Company
Aetna is a managed health care company headquartered in Hartford, CT. It is a subsidiary of CVS Health, having been acquired in 2018. Aetna was founded as Aetna (Fire) Insurance Company in 1853.
Aetna has a financial strength rating of “A-” from S&P and “A” from A. M. Best.
Aetna, which is one of the longest-lived premier insurers in America, is named after a volcano- Mt. Etna- in Italy.
Aetna issues Medicare Supplement Insurance through various subsidiaries, depending on the state, including:
- Continental Life of Brentwood, Tennessee
- American Continental
- Aetna Health and Life
What is a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan?
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, also known as Medigap Plans, are insurance policies issued by private companies to help pay for some or all of the expenses you might incur under Original Medicare.
Under Original Medicare, you are responsible for a Deductible under Parts A and B, coinsurance of 20% for physician and outpatient services under Part B, and 100% of medical expenses outside the United States.
Supplement Insurance policies cover these specific gaps in Original Medicare. By doing so, they provide a known, fixed out of pocket maximum for each year, which is a major concern for many people on Original Medicare.
Requirements to Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan
Enrollment in a Medicare Supplement Plan requires the following:
- You must be eligible for, and enrolled in, Medicare Parts A and B
- You must continue to pay your Part B premium (and Part A if applicable)
- You cannot be enrolled in Medicare Advantage
- To receive prescription drug coverage, you’ll need to enroll in a standalone Part D Drug Plan
- Some states require you to be age 65 or older
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are standardized across 47 states, but Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts have implemented their own Medicare Supplement Plans. Many insurers provide benefits beyond what is required by CMS and the 50 states.
No matter which state you live in, or which Medicare Supplement Plan you choose, you will have the ability to see any doctor who accepts Medicare patients. You can learn more about Medicare Insurance in our full guide here as well.
Which Medicare Supplement Plans Does Aetna Offer?
Medicare Supplement Plans come in eleven standardized “Plans” and are known by letters: A-D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. The plans differ in the amount of coverage provided; in other words, how much of the Original Medicare gaps are filled in.
Aetna and its affiliates offer all the standardized Medicare Supplement Plans, although they don’t offer them all in every state.
Plans F, G, and N are reviewed in detail below as they are the most popular selections.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plan F
This is the most comprehensive plan, with these benefits:
- Pays the entire Original Medicare Part A and B deductible for you
- Provides 365 extra hospitalization days beyond Original Medicare
- Covers the first 3 pints of blood needed
- Hospice co-payment or co-insurance under Part A
- Covers 100% of any “excess charges” from Part B services
- Covers 100% of Medicare Part B co-insurance
- Will cover Nursing home costs
- Provides emergency coverage while traveling internationally, up to plan limits
If you enroll in Plan F, it is likely that you will not pay any fees for medical services of any kind, as long as they are Medicare-approved services and procedures. Because of this, Plan F is great if you want to know with certainty that your Medical spending will be minimal.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G is almost identical to Plan F. The only difference is under Plan G the beneficiary must pay the Part B deductible (currently $185 per year) before the Plan will cover Part B services.
The monthly premium for Plan G is lower than that for Plan F, and usually by more than the Part B deductible, so this is often a better value than Plan F, while still providing comprehensive coverage.
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plan N
Plan N is also quite comprehensive, but unlike Plans F and G, Plan N offers an even lower monthly premium is you’re willing to pay small co-pays:
- No more than $20 co-pay for office visits
- No more than $50 co-pay for emergency visits
- Plan N doesn’t cover “excess” charges under Plan B. You can find out from your medical service provider whether you would be subject to excess charges (which can’t exceed 15% of the Medicare-approved price).
Plan N is an excellent compromise between affordable premium and comprehensive coverage.
Aetna’s Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are required to be Guaranteed Renewal. This means that they cannot be canceled by Aetna unless you fail to make your required premium payments.
Update On Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans C, F, and G
You may have heard about changes for Plans C, and F. These changes will only affect Beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. Plans C, F, and High Deductible F will not be available for those eligible after January 1, 2020.
If you are already eligible for Medicare, or if you become eligible before January 1, 2020, you will be able to enroll in these plans, or keep them if you are already enrolled in them. Even if you’re not already enrolled in these plans, your right to enroll in them is preserved.
With Plan F and High Deductible F being eliminated in 2020, a new option is being made available: High Deductible G. This Plan will function just like regular Plan G, but you must meet the annual deductible of $2,180 before the Plan will pay Part B benefits.
In exchange for paying the higher deductible, the plan comes with lower monthly premiums.
How Much Do Aetna Supplement Insurance Plans Cost?
Each Medigap carrier sets its own premiums (subject to regulatory approval). Aetna’s (and Aetna-owned companies) premiums may be based on these or other criteria:
- Age at issue
- Age at renewal
- Tobacco usage
- Plan type
- Amount of claims paid in the last year versus estimates
Medicare Supplement Insurance companies are allowed to adjust their premiums, and typically do. You will be notified if or when the rate is increasing. Typically, rates are lower the younger you are.
Benefits Provided By Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies issued by Aetna or its subsidiaries come with the following benefits (may vary by state):
- 30 day free look period
- Competitive premiums
- Helpful and streamlined online portal
- Industry-leading customer service, support, and claims processing
- Stable (relatively small) rate increases
Can I Switch From One Aetna Supplement Insurance Plan To Another?
One of the drawbacks to Medigap Plans is that switching from one Plan to another, or one carrier to another can be difficult. Every Medicare Beneficiary has the right to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan when they first become eligible for Medicare.
This is known as the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. This is a six-month window that begins the later of the date you turn age 65 or enroll in Part B.
If you want to change plans or carriers after Open Enrollment, you are allowed to, but you will generally be subject to medical underwriting. Your application can even be denied.
Guaranteed Issue Provisions
However, there are other times when a Medigap company must issue you a policy without underwriting. These times fall under what are called Guaranteed Issue provisions. You may have a Guaranteed Issue Right in these circumstances:
- You are on Medicare Advantage, and you move out of the Plan’s service area
- You have been on Medicare Advantage for less than 12 months, and it is your first time on Medicare Advantage (this is known as a Trial Right)
- You dropped your Medicare Supplement Plan to enroll in Medicare Advantage for the first time, and you want to switch back. If you have been on the Medicare Advantage Plan less than 12 months you have a Trial Right
There are other times when you might have a guaranteed issue right. Speak with an independent licensed agent to learn more about changing to Medicare Supplement Insurance after your original Open Enrollment Period.
How to Enroll in an Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
Once you know that an Aetna Medigap Plan is right for you, enrollment is simple. You will need your red, white, and blue Original Medicare Card to enroll.
Using an independent agent, you can enroll:
- Online through Aetna
- Over the phone
- With a paper application, face to face, or through the mail
Alternatives to Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance
If you are considering Aetna for Medicare Supplement Insurance, be sure to compare their plans with other companies to find the right plan for your specific needs.