Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance 2022 Review

Aetna has competitive prices for popular Medigap plans, but its complaint rates are high.

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Aetna is the third-largest health insurer in the U.S. [1]. It offers Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, in 43 states.

Aetna generally offers Medigap Plan A, Plan B, Plan G and Plan N for all Medicare members, plus Plan F for those who qualify. Some states have additional options.

For popular plans like Plan G and Plan N, Aetna’s premiums are close to the lowest on the market. Premiums aren’t as low for some other plan options, though, and customers file complaints about Aetna’s Medigap insurance at rates significantly above the market average.

Here’s what you should know about Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance pros and cons

Aetna’s Medigap offerings have advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive prices for popular plans: Aetna’s rates are close to the lowest for Medigap Plan G and Plan N — the most popular plans for new Medicare members.

  • Spending on member benefits: Aetna spends a greater portion of its income from premiums on benefits for members, compared to the average Medigap insurer.

  • Limited online options: Aetna doesn't offer online price quotes in a number of the states where it sells plans. In states where you can get online pricing, you still need to call to apply.

  • Member complaints: Aetna’s Medigap plans had complaint rates significantly higher than the industry average.

  • Few discounts and perks: Other Medigap insurers offer more discount options and extra benefits than Aetna.

Available Medicare Supplement Insurance plans

Aetna generally offers these Medicare Supplement Insurance plans for any Medicare member:

  • Medigap Plan A — the basic benefits included in every Medigap plan without any extras.

  • Medigap Plan B — basic benefits plus coverage for the Medicare Part A deductible.

  • Medigap Plan G — the highest-coverage option available to new Medicare members. Available as a high-deductible plan in some locations.

  • Medigap Plan N — a plan with lower premiums but higher copays.

Aetna also offers Medigap Plan D, a mid-cost option that covers most Medigap benefits, in some states. Select your state on Aetna’s website to see an outline of the options available in your location.

Medigap Plan F and the high-deductible version of Plan F are also generally available for qualifying beneficiaries who were eligible to enroll in Medicare prior to 2020. Newer Medicare members can’t buy these plans from any insurer. Medigap Plan C, which has the same restrictions as Plan F, is also available in some locations.

Additional benefits

Medigap plans have standardized Medicare benefits, but insurers can offer additional perks. Here are the extras available with some Aetna policies:

  • Aetna Member Discount program: Some plans include discounts on certain hearing and vision exams, hearing aids and batteries, eyewear, and other health and wellness products.

  • LifeMart program: Some plans offer general discounts on travel, memberships, event tickets and other products and services from participating businesses.

Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance service area

Aetna offers Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 43 states. (Aetna doesn’t offer Medigap policies in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Washington state or Washington, D.C.)

Aetna reports that it covers about 1.2 million Medicare Supplement Insurance beneficiaries. The company’s share of the total Medicare Supplement Insurance market as of the end of 2020 is about 5.3% [2].

Cost

The following price quotes were obtained for three states representing above-average, average and below-average costs for Medicare Supplement Insurance, when compared across all plans and providers using pricing data from Medicare.gov [3]:

  • Nevada: More expensive than average.

  • Nebraska: Average cost for the U.S.

  • Ohio: Less expensive than average.

The sections below show pricing information from Aetna for a 65-year-old female nonsmoker and reflect base pricing with discounts removed or factored out whenever the option was available. (Note: Some Medigap prices may be higher for males.)

For comparison, each table also includes the price for the least-expensive option to buy the same plan from other providers, based on information from Medicare.gov. For example, Aetna’s price for Medigap Plan A in Sandusky, Ohio, appears alongside the lowest price on Medicare.gov for all Plan A policies available in Sandusky to an applicant with identical demographics.

Plan A

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan A were about 43% higher than the least-expensive Plan A policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Reno, Nevada

$119.62.

$77.

Lincoln, Nebraska

$108.96.

$82.

Sandusky, Ohio

$97.29.

$69.

Plan B

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan B were about 12% higher than the least-expensive Plan B policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Reno, Nevada

$136.95.

$112.

Lincoln, Nebraska

$119.20.

$113.

Sandusky, Ohio

$114.79.

$105.

Plan G

Standard Plan G

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan G were about 15% higher than the least-expensive Plan G policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Reno, Nevada

$121.95.

$101.

Lincoln, Nebraska

$106.29.

$98.

Sandusky, Ohio

$105.62.

$92.

High-deductible Plan G

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for the high-deductible version of Plan G were about 63% higher than the least-expensive high-deductible Plan G policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Reno, Nevada

$45.73.

$25.

Sandusky, Ohio

$44.48.

$31.

(Aetna didn’t offer high-deductible Plan G in Lincoln, Nebraska, when quotes were obtained for this review.)

🤓Nerdy Tip

A high-deductible Medigap plan can save you money overall if the premiums plus the money you spend meeting the deductible are less expensive than the higher premiums of a standard insurance policy. For 2022, benefits for high-deductible Plan G kick in after a $2,490 deductible. Divided over 12 months, that’s $207.50 per month. A high-deductible plan would need to have premiums at least $207.50 less than the standard version to start offering savings.

Plan N

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan N policies were about 12% higher than the least-expensive Plan N policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Reno, Nevada

$91.96.

$78.

Lincoln, Nebraska

$78.89.

$75.

Sandusky, Ohio

$82.80.

$73.

Policy fee

Aetna charges a one-time policy fee for new enrollees in most states. The fee is typically $20, but it may be a little higher or lower depending on the state. There are a handful of states with no policy fee.

You can find the policy fee for your state under the rate tables in the “Outline of Coverage” documents for each state on Aetna’s website.

Discounts

Here are some examples of Aetna discounts that are available to qualifying Medicare Supplement Insurance applicants:

  • Household: Some applicants can qualify for premium discounts if a spouse, civil union partner or other adult with whom they have lived for at least 12 months also enrolls in or already has an Aetna Medigap plan. This discount is typically 7% but varies by state.

  • Multiple policy types: Some members with Aetna Medigap policies can qualify for lower rates on other Aetna insurance products, such as final expense whole life insurance policies.

Available discounts can vary according to factors such as your location, household status and how you apply for a policy.

Aetna’s spending on care

75.6% for member benefits

Medicare Supplement Insurance providers must report data on the premiums they collect and how much they spend to provide benefits for members.

Based on the most recent year of data, Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance plans spend about 75.6% of premiums on member benefits [4]. The other 24.4% goes to overhead expenses like administrative costs, marketing, salaries and commissions.

For comparison, the average for all providers is 72.3%. The minimum required by law for individual Medigap policies is 60% [5].

Member complaints

67% above average

Members file complaints about Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance plans about 67% more often than the average for all Medigap plans. This is according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for Aetna and its subsidiaries that sell Medigap policies [6].

Measured across all of their insurance offerings, Aetna and those subsidiaries have higher complaint rates than the market average, but not to the same extent as for Medigap policies. Those companies’ average complaint rate across all insurance types they offer was about 10% above the average for all insurers over the same three years of data.

Customer service

Here’s how Aetna Medigap members can contact customer service:

  • Call Aetna’s Medicare Supplement customer service line at 888-624-6290, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time, seven days a week. (TTY dial 711 and follow the prompts.)

  • Email Aetna through an email contact form.

  • Contact Aetna through Twitter.

  • Contact Aetna through Facebook.

Third-party ratings

There are a few companies that weigh in on customers’ experiences with insurers or the strength of the company in question, and we’ve included two here:

American Customer Satisfaction Index: 73 out of 100

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, rates consumer satisfaction with products and services based on a scientific model developed at the University of Michigan. Ratings are derived from surveys that measure consumers’ expectations and perceived quality and value of products and services.

In 2021, Aetna scored 73 out of 100 on the ACSI health insurance satisfaction benchmark [7]. ACSI measures satisfaction with the health insurance industry as a whole — the benchmark isn’t specific to Medicare Supplement Insurance. For comparison, the highest score was 75 and the health insurance industry average was 73.

AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A

AM Best is a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry. In December 2021, AM Best affirmed its Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) for Aetna Life Insurance Company and the other members of Aetna Health & Life Group that are wholly owned subsidiaries of CVS Health [8].

An A rating in this category indicates that AM Best believes Aetna has an excellent ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.

Compare alternatives

Here's how Medicare Supplement Insurance providers compare with Aetna.

Compare Medicare Supplement Insurance providers

Complaint rate: 67% worse than the market average.

Service area: 43 states.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 75.6%.

Complaint rate: 63% better than the market average.

Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.7%.

Complaint rate: 24% worse than the market average.

Service area: 16 states.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 68.6%.

Complaint rate: 0.4% better than the market average.

Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 72.6%.

Complaint rate: 40% worse than the market average.

Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 75%.

Complaint rate: 335% worse than the market average.

Service area: 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 77%.

Complaint rate: 62% better than the market average.

Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.4%.

Complaint rate: 50% better than the market average.

Service area: 45 states and Washington, D.C.

Percent of premiums spent on benefits: 71.7%.

About Aetna

Aetna was founded in 1853 in Hartford, Connecticut, and the insurer became a subsidiary of CVS Health in 2018. The company’s headquarters are still in Hartford.

Aetna’s health insurance offerings include medical, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health. Aetna offers both individual and group health insurance, including Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance. As of June 2021, Aetna covers almost 9.8 million Medicare members in the U.S., including more than 1.2 million Medicare Supplement Insurance members.

CVS Health posted annual revenues of $292.1 billion in 2021.

Find the right Medicare Supplement Insurance plan

Because Medigap plans are standardized, you can get precisely the same Medicare benefits from any company offering the plan. So when you shop, keep these considerations in mind to find the best policy to fit your needs:

  • Is your preferred plan available? Health insurance companies don’t always sell every plan, so check who sells the plan you want to buy in your area.

  • What are the premiums? Prices for the same plan can vary between companies, so check to find the most competitive rates.

  • Will your premiums change over time? Most policies cost more as you age, but some companies offer policies that let you lock in a price when you sign up.

  • Are there extras? Medigap plans’ core benefits are standardized, but in certain cases, some companies include such perks as discount programs or gym memberships.

If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

ARTICLE SOURCES

  1. American Medical Association, “Competition in Health Insurance,” accessed Feb. 28, 2022.

  2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “2020 Medicare Supplement Insurance Experience Reports,” accessed Feb. 28, 2022.

  3. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “2020 Medigap Data,” accessed Feb. 28, 2022.

  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “2020 Medicare Supplement Insurance Experience Reports,” accessed Feb. 28, 2022.

  5. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Part 403, Section 215, accessed Feb. 28, 2022.

  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “Company Complaint Index,” accessed Feb. 25, 2022.

  7. American Consumer Satisfaction Index, “Health Insurance,” accessed Feb. 28, 2022.

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