Original Medicare is a federal health insurance plan that consists of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). To qualify, you must be 65 or over, and in most cases, you’re automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B once you’re eligible. In addition, individuals under 65 who receive Social Security disability insurance may qualify for Medicare.
Original Medicare coverage includes many health care services, yet some enrollees find that the plan isn’t sufficient enough to meet their needs. As a result, they end up spending a lot of their own out-of-pocket money. Original Medicare doesn’t include a prescription drug plan, nor does it include coverage for many other healthcare services such as vision or dental. If you need more than what Original Medicare can offer, it’s time to explore Medicare plans offered through the private health insurance company Aetna.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of Medicare, here’s a look at some Aetna Medicare plans which could be a better fit for your needs.
What Is Aetna Medicare Advantage (Part C)?
If you’re looking for Medicare coverage outside the federal government, an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan could be what you’re looking for.
Medicare Advantage plans are also referred to as Medicare Part C. As a basic rule, any Medicare plan sold by a private insurance company must offer the same benefits as Original Medicare. For this reason, Medicare Part C automatically includes the benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B. In addition, you’ll receive benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t offer.
For example, several Medicare Advantage plans offered through Aetna also include prescription drug coverage. This is known as Medicare Part D. As people age, their healthcare needs change and certain medications might be needed on a regular basis.
Without prescription drug coverage, you would pay for many prescriptions yourself. Having a Medicare Part D plan, however, can reduce what you pay out of pocket for medication.
Keep in mind that some Medicare Advantage programs don’t include Part D as a benefit. So make sure you research plans carefully and then choose one that offers the coverage you need.
If you currently have Original Medicare, you may not pay a monthly premium for coverage. This isn’t the case with a Medicare Advantage program. Since Aetna is a private insurer, you may have a monthly premium, which can vary by plan and location.
Key points of an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan:
- Depending on the plan, you might be required to use doctors and hospitals within a specific network.
- These plans include additional healthcare benefits (dental, vision, hearing, non-emergency transportation, fitness programs).
- Coverage isn’t usually available outside the U.S.
- Some plans may have copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. These are your out-of-pocket expenses for covered services.
You can enroll in Medicare Part C when you initially become eligible for Medicare. The Initial Enrollment Period is three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after your 65th birthday.
You can enroll later if you don’t enroll at this time, but only during annual Open Enrollment Periods.
How Does Aetna Medicare Part D Work?
You don’t have to enroll in an Aetna Medicare Advantage program to get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
While Medicare Part D is included as a benefit in some Medicare Advantage plans, there’s also the option to purchase Part D coverage alone.
If you purchase Medicare Part D as a standalone policy, you may pay a monthly premium for coverage. In addition, your plan may include a deductible and copayments.
Purchasing a standalone policy is beneficial if you have Original Medicare, which doesn’t automatically include prescription drug coverage. Ignoring or thinking you don’t need this type of coverage can be a costly mistake. Some prescription medications are inexpensive, but others can cost hundreds of dollars each month. According to Aetna, it’s estimated that approximately “40% of people over the age of 65 take five or more medications per day.”
With regard to Medicare Part D enrollment, it’s always best (or rather cheaper) to enroll in a plan when you initially become eligible for Medicare. Your Initial Enrollment Period is also the three months before your 65th birthday and three months after your 65th birthday.
You can enroll after your Initial Enrollment Period during open enrollment but you may pay a higher premium for coverage.
How Do You Need Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance?
Aetna also has Medicare options for people enrolled in Original Medicare.
Since Original Medicare doesn’t cover all healthcare expenses, many older adults end up paying a lot for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. The good news is that there is a way to save money and reduce some of your upfront costs.
To do so, though, you’ll have to purchase a Medicare Supplement insurance plan through Aetna. This is optional coverage, but well worth the cost because supplement insurance pays some of the healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t.
Medicare Supplement insurance includes several plans with varying coverage amounts based on where you live. To learn about available plans in your area, search for Aetna Medicare supplement insurance in your state or speak with a licensed insurance agent to get a free, personalized Medicare Supplement quote.
An example of Medicare Supplement insurance plans offered through Aetna includes:
|Benefits||Plan A||Plan B||Plan F||Plan G||Plan N|
|Part A Coinsurance and Copay||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part A Coinsurance and Copay||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part B Coinsurance and Copay||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part A Deductible||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part B Deductible||100%|
|Blood (first 3 pints per year)||100%||100%||100%||100%||100%|
|Part B Excess Charges||100%||100%|
When is Aetna Medicare Open Enrollment?
The best time to enroll in an Aetna Medicare plan is when you are first eligible. If you choose to enroll at a later time, you can only do so during open enrollment, which is every year from October 15 to December 7.
During open enrollment season, you can enroll in Medicare for the first time, switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage Part C, as well as switch to a different Medicare Advantage program. Open enrollment is also when you’re eligible to sign up for Medicare Part D and a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
Understanding how Medicare works and its different parts is how you’re able to get the most out of your coverage. Medicare is not one size fits all, so a plan that works for someone else might not work for you. Do your homework, ask questions, and choose an Aetna Medicare plan that will meet your individual healthcare needs.