Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance 2023 Review

Aetna sometimes offers the market’s lowest prices for certain Medigap plans, but its complaint rates are high.
Alex Rosenberg
By Alex Rosenberg 
Updated
Edited by Dawnielle Robinson-Walker

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Nerdy takeaways
  • Aetna sometimes has the very lowest prices for certain Medigap plans — but sometimes its pricing isn't so low.

  • Members file significantly more complaints about Aetna's Medigap plans than the industry average.

  • The website and online quoting tool aren't great. You'll need to call or talk to an agent to apply.

MORE LIKE THISMedicareInsurance
Nerdy takeaways
  • Aetna sometimes has the very lowest prices for certain Medigap plans — but sometimes its pricing isn't so low.

  • Members file significantly more complaints about Aetna's Medigap plans than the industry average.

  • The website and online quoting tool aren't great. You'll need to call or talk to an agent to apply.

MORE LIKE THISMedicareInsurance

Aetna is part of CVS Health, the third-largest health insurance company in the U.S.

American Medical Association. Competition in Health Insurance. Accessed Mar 14, 2023.
. It offers Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, in 44 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 certain plans and certain locations, Aetna offers the lowest Medicare Supplement Insurance premiums on the market. Premiums aren’t low across the board, 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 Medicare Supplement Insurance offerings have advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive prices for certain plans: Aetna sometimes offers the very lowest rates on the market for certain plans.

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

  • 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 companies 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 company. 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 companies can offer additional perks.

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

Looking for Unbiased Medicare Advice?
Chapter saves people over $1,000/year on their Medicare plans. You can reach them at (855)480-7438
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Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance service area

Aetna offers Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in 44 states and Washington, D.C. (Aetna doesn’t offer Medigap policies in Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York or Washington state.)

Aetna reports that it covers about 1.3 million Medicare Supplement Insurance beneficiaries. The company’s share of the total Medicare Supplement Insurance market as of the end of 2021 is about 6.4%

National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 2021 Medicare Supplement Loss Ratios. Accessed Mar 14, 2023.
.

Cost

The following price quotes were obtained for three metropolitan areas representing above-average, average and below-average costs for the most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (Plan G and Plan N)

NerdWallet analysis of American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance data. Lowest & Highest Costs for 10 Major Metros. Accessed Mar 14, 2023.
:

  • Los Angeles: More expensive than average.

  • Atlanta: Average cost for the U.S.

  • Dallas: Less expensive than average.

The sections below show pricing information from Aetna for a 65-year-old female nonsmoker and reflect base pricing with optional 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 companies, based on information from Medicare.gov. For example, Aetna’s price for Medigap Plan A in Los Angeles appears alongside the lowest price on Medicare.gov for all Plan A policies available in Los Angeles to an applicant with identical demographics.

(Prices are current as of February 2023.)

Plan A

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan A were about 52% higher than the least-expensive Plan A policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Los Angeles

$185.93.

$97.

Atlanta

$115.87.

$97.

Dallas

$127.62.

$88.

Plan B

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan B were about 18% higher than the least-expensive Plan B policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Los Angeles

$235.24.

$154.

Atlanta

$135.36.

$135.

Dallas

$132.11.

$132.

Plan G

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

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Los Angeles

$241.57.

$128.

Atlanta

$144.03.

$101.

Dallas

$141.11.

$89.

Plan N

On average, Aetna’s quoted prices for Medigap Plan N policies were about 49% higher than the least-expensive Plan N policy in the area.

Aetna-quoted price

Medicare.gov lowest price

Los Angeles

$173.35.

$98.

Atlanta

$101.96.

$77.

Dallas

$98.63.

$71.

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

Aetna offers a household discount to qualifying Medicare Supplement Insurance applicants 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 for Aetna-branded plans is typically 7% but varies by state.

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

81.4% for member benefits

Medicare Supplement Insurance companies 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 81.4% of premiums on member benefits

. The other 18.6% goes to overhead expenses like administrative costs, marketing, salaries and commissions.

For comparison, the average for all companies is 77.3%. The minimum required by law for individual Medigap policies is 60%

Code of Federal Regulations. Title 42, Part 403, Section 215. Accessed Mar 14, 2023.
.

Member complaints

71% more complaints than average

Members file complaints about Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance plans about 71% more often than the average for all Medigap plans. This is according to three years’ worth of data (2019-2021) from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for Aetna and its subsidiaries that sell Medigap policies

National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Company Complaint Index. Accessed Feb 21, 2023.
.

Measured across all of their insurance offerings, Aetna and those subsidiaries fared better. Those companies’ average complaint rate across all insurance types they offer was about 4% above the average for all insurance companies over the same three years of data.

(Complaint rates are current as of February 2023.)

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.

Looking for Unbiased Medicare Advice?
Chapter saves people over $1,000/year on their Medicare plans. You can reach them at (855)480-7438
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Third-party ratings

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

American Customer Satisfaction Index: 74 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 2022, Aetna scored 74 out of 100 on the ACSI health insurance satisfaction benchmark

American Customer Satisfaction Index. Health Insurance. Accessed Mar 14, 2023.
. 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 77 and the health insurance industry average was 73.

AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)

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

.

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

Compare alternatives

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

About Aetna

Aetna was founded in 1853 in Hartford, Connecticut, and the company 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 October 2022, Aetna covers 10.6 million Medicare members in the U.S., including more than 1.3 million Medicare Supplement Insurance members.

CVS Health posted annual revenues of $322.5 billion in 2022.

Read the NerdWallet reviews of these other Aetna Medicare offerings:

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).
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