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Aetna Review

Sunday, October 2nd

2022 Medicare Advantage Plan Reviews

Aetna Review 4 Star Rating

Aetna

4 Star Rating
  • Over 165 years in operation
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • Easy to use website
  • Competitive rates
  • Limited options in some areas

Not many providers of Medicare Advantage Plans can say that they've been in business for over 100 years. Aetna has been around for more than a century and a half! You'll often find their policies quoted by brokers and referral services, because their coverage area is very broad and their plans are quite popular.

Not Much Info On The Website

The Aetna site has a somewhat limited overview of Medicare Advantage Plans, compared with some of their rival insurance companies. You can learn more about HMOs, HMO-POS, PPOs and Dual Special Needs coverage if you click on each of those categories. You can also see some of Aetna's extra benefits, like access to a 24-hour nurse line and SilverSneakers fitness memberships. We expected to see much more robust information from such a big name in the Medicare industry.

Fewer Medicare Advantage Plans Than Some

We also found that Aetna had fewer Medicare Advantage Plans on offer than many of their competitors: just two plans with prescription drug coverage and one plan without. You might want to click on "Add your info" on the left side of the page, to enter any prescriptions for which you want pricing or to provide additional details about your age, health, and so on. The initial quotes page didn't have a tool to select our preferred physician, which means there was no way of knowing if that provider is in the Aetna network. We only found that functionality when we added a plan to our cart and needed to specify a primary care physician: there was a "find a doctor" button there that took us to a different site to look that up. We were pleased to see that the preferred doctor for our fictitious Wisconsin client was in network with several of Aetna's PPO Medicare Advantage Plans.

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Competitive Premiums And Out-of-pocket Costs

With Aetna in our specified geographic area, our premiums were either $0 or $27 per month, and our maximum annual out of pocket costs were between $4600 and $5900. That puts Aetna among some of the more affordable Medicare Advantage Plans available, though with far fewer to choose from than many insurers. Out of curiosity, we chose a zip code in Central Florida, to see if our options expanded; there were no available Medicare Advantage policies without prescription drug coverage, and six options with it. The monthly premiums and maximum out of pocket costs were roughly the same as in Wisconsin.

Enroll Online 24/7

Aetna allows you to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan directly through their website. It's a fairly detailed process, especially with looking up your preferred doctor and making sure to enter their provider ID correctly, so be sure to leave some time to complete the application and submit it. You can also call Aetna's toll-free number to get help from an agent, or select the "Chat with us" feature on the page if you have questions.

Good Reputation, "A+" Rating

Aetna has a fantastic reputation. The Better Business Bureau gives the company an "A+" rating, despite having more than 200 complaints registered in the last 12 months. Aetna is a very large company, so it stands to reason that they would have their fair share of complaints. Some of the negative reviews we found were specifically about Medicare products - not the policies or the coverage themselves but difficulties with changing from one type of coverage to another or getting adequate customer help - and you might need to keep an eye on your Advantage Plan's benefits to make sure everything is happening as expected.

Reliable Insurer For Medicare Advantage Plans

If you're shopping around for a Medicare Advantage Plan in your area and Aetna comes up as one of your options, we definitely encourage you to look into it. Their premiums are reasonable, and the company has a solid reputation with the BBB and with agents alike. Aetna is a trustworthy provider of Medicare Advantage policies.

Where Can You Find the Best Medicare Advantage Plans?

As your 65th birthday approaches, it's time to start sorting through your options with respect to Medicare health coverage. Those options include several add-on components, one of which is Medicare Advantage.

What are Medicare Advantage Plans? Essentially, they allow you to take your Part A and B coverage and transfer their management to a private insurance company - often with insurers you may have already used in the past, like UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Although Advantage Plans come with some limitations - most require you to use in-network practitioners to maximize benefits, for example - they can be attractive for a number of reasons.

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Medicare Advantage Plan FAQ

Medicare Advantage Plans are a way of getting your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage through private companies approved by Medicare. These insurers have to follow specific rules in order to participate. These plans typically operate with an HMO or PPO structure, requiring you to use in-network providers for maximum benefits. Some customers appreciate getting their services bundled from an insurance company they already trust, often with extra benefits not found with Original Medicare.
If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, and there's a plan that is available where you live, you're eligible for Medicare Advantage. Bear in mind that Advantage policies are almost always network-based: if you live in another state during the year, your plan may not offer benefits in both places.
Yes! You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan either when you first sign up for Medicare A & B or during the yearly enrollment period from October 15 through December 7. Once you're enrolled in a plan, you can switch to a different one or back to Original Medicare from January 1 through March 31. There are also special enrollment periods for certain life events, like moving to a different address, losing your current coverage, or your contract not being renewed.
There are many differences between these two types of additional Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap, are designed to pay the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Medicare itself. These plans don't include prescription drugs, tend to have higher premiums than Advantage coverage, and you'll pay more if you don't enroll early on in your Medicare coverage. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage Plans are usually much lower in premiums and higher in out-of-pocket costs. Advantage policies often have prescription drug benefits. But, Medicare Advantage doesn't pay any of the costs that original Medicare doesn't cover. You can't be enrolled in both a Medigap plan and an Advantage plan at the same time.
That depends on the plan you select. However, one of the reasons Advantage plans are so attractive is because many of them do include dental, vision, or hearing benefits - or all three!
That also depends on the plan you choose. Almost every Medicare Advantage plan will still have out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions. When getting a quote, have your medications handy: many online quote platforms and insurance brokers will ask for the name and dosage, to provide you with an accurate estimate of what you'll spend for those specific prescriptions with a given Advantage policy.
Believe it or not, there are Medicare Advantage policies that have $0 monthly premiums. Of course, you get what you pay for - and if you want broader coverage and lower deductibles/out-of-pocket costs, your premiums will be higher.
That's a matter of preference. But, it can be helpful to start your search by using a website that offers quotes from multiple insurers, so that you can get a feel for what's available in your area. Many of these referring websites can walk you through the entire application process with any company you select, without pressuring you to choose one over another. On the other hand, if you already know which insurer you want - or maybe there's only one available where you live - there's nothing wrong with getting your plan right from the insurance company.
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Continued from above...

Think of it like an all-inclusive resort: you might give up some flexibility in exchange for knowing that everything is taken care of, from meals to entertainment, and you don't have to try and cobble together a plan for your perfect vacation. Similarly, Medicare Advantage bundles up a number of features, many times including prescription drug coverage and even dental/vision/hearing services, that otherwise you'd have to piece together on your own with separate standalone plans.

Medicare Advantage premiums vary by provider and by plan. It's possible to get a policy with $0 in monthly payments, but those tend to come with higher out-of-pocket costs like office visit copays and annual deductibles. It's also important to point out that you can't have an Advantage plan and a Medigap policy at the same time: you'll need to carefully consider your situation - anticipated health needs, your income and ability to pay monthly premiums vs. paying for hospitalizations and other major medical expenses, and so forth - to strategize which additional Medicare coverage you need and when.

There are two main approaches to buying a Medicare Advantage Plan: go directly to an insurance company or work with a broker. Buying your policy right from an insurer can feel more reliable, choosing a company you already know and trust, maybe even one that has been your healthcare insurance provider in the past. You can usually count on premium quotes to be the lowest possible for that particular company. However, going through a broker or a referral service doesn't necessarily mean you'll pay more - and you gain the advantage of getting policy quotes from multiple providers at once. No insurance company is going to tell you that you might get better coverage from a competitor!

Either route you choose, it's a good idea to do some research in advance: to familiarize yourself with the different Medicare Advantage Plans, their benefits and their average premium costs for someone in your demographic (age, gender, location, etc.). Otherwise you could find yourself feeling pressured to commit to a policy that might not be the best fit for your needs. There are many websites, offered both by brokers/referral services and by the insurance companies themselves, with helpful articles and tools to help you figure out what coverage is best suited to you. Also, be aware that in order to apply for any Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll need to have your Medicare number - so make sure you've taken the steps to enroll in Medicare before choosing your Advantage coverage.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Advantage Plans available today. We hope our in-depth evaluations save you some time and hassle - by providing the detailed information you need to select the best provider and plan for your coverage!

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