Health Insurance

Aetna Health Insurance Review: Cheap Rates but Limited Individual Plan Availability

Aetna Health Insurance Review: Cheap Rates but Limited Individual Plan Availability

Editor's Rating

Aetna offers multiple insurance products and has strong financial ratings but mixed customer reviews.

Good for

  • Multiple product offerings at affordable rates
  • Highly rated member mobile apps
  • A financially strong company

Bad for

  • Short-term health insurance (not offered)
  • Low member satisfaction depending on location
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Editor's Rating

Aetna offers multiple insurance products and has strong financial ratings but mixed customer reviews.

Good for

  • Multiple product offerings at affordable rates
  • Highly rated member mobile apps
  • A financially strong company

Bad for

  • Short-term health insurance (not offered)
  • Low member satisfaction depending on location
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With some of the cheapest rates available, Aetna individual health plans are good for those on a budget, but policies are only sold in eight states. The company's Medicare Advantage plans also have low rates compared to competitors and are available in most of the U.S. But customers are not completely happy with the service and claims handling for either type of coverage.

Aetna also sells stand-alone dental and vision coverage as well as employer health plans but does not currently sell short-term medical policies.

Customers are happy with Aetna's suite of products and member benefits, including an online portal and health-tracking apps that allow policyholders to manage their health better. Compared to competitors, Aetna has above-average financial ratings but also receives slightly greater-than-average customer complaints.

Aetna insurance plans and options

Along with employer health plans, Aetna offers individual health, Medicare and dental and vision insurance policies to consumers. But those looking for a short-term medical plan will need to find coverage through another insurance provider, as Aetna doesn't currently sell short-term policies.

Employer health insurance

Employer health insurance is a health plan offered through your job. Businesses can purchase Aetna's employer plans and provide them to employees. Employers can select what to include in their Aetna policies, which may include medical, dental, health, disability and life coverages. Read through your options carefully to confirm what will and will not be covered by your plan.

Individual plans

Individual plans are Affordable Care Act (ACA) policies that you can purchase through a state or federal health insurance exchange or through an Aetna website. Aetna's ACA rates are cheaper than many competitor plans, making them a good choice for those on a budget.

Aetna currently offers ACA policies in the following states. The company plans to expand to certain California counties in 2023.

Plan options and costs

Aetna offers Bronze, Silver and Gold policies in all areas where plans are sold.

bronze plan

Bronze plans are the cheapest options but generally have higher deductibles.

Bronze plans work well if you don't expect to need much routine care but want coverage in case of a large medical expense.

bronze plan

Silver plans have medium-to-high monthly rates and are good for those with mid-level health needs.

For those who have a low income, Silver plans offer help with other insurance costs like deductibles and copays.

bronze plan

Gold plans are best for people with typical health care needs.

Gold plans usually cost more per month but have lower deductibles, which you can meet more quickly if you have regular health care visits.

Below are the Aetna plan options and costs in Florida. Your costs will vary depending on where you live.

Plan name
Monthly cost
Deductible
Out-of-pocket maximum
Aetna Bronze: $0 MinuteClinic Visits$342$8,700$8,700
Aetna Bronze: Low-Cost MinuteClinic Visits$401$5,500$7,000
Aetna Silver 1: $0 MinuteClinic Visits$540$5,000$8,700
Aetna Silver 2: $0 MinuteClinic Visits$438$6,000$8,700
Aetna Gold: $0 MinuteClinic Visits$520$1,450$8,700

Medicare Advantage and Supplement

Aetna offers Medicare Advantage and Supplement policies to people currently enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. These plans cover gaps in original Medicare (Parts A and B).

Aetna has three types of Medicare Advantage plans: PPO, HMO and HMO-POS. Overall, Aetna has some of the cheapest Medicare Advantage coverage on the market and offers plans in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

PPO plans
HMO plans
HMO-POS plans
Provider network requirements
out-of-network will cost more
must use in-network unless an emergency
out-of-network will cost more
PCP required?
Sometimes
Required referrals for specialists?
Sometimes
Monthly premiums$0 – $217$0 – $146$0 – $99
Deductible$0 – $1,000$0 – $750$0 – $500
Dental, vision and hearing coverage?
Find Plans

If you don't buy a Medicare Advantage plan, Aetna also offers Medicare Supplement plans.

Plan A
Plan B
Plan C
Plan D
Plan F
Plan G
Plan N
Medicare Part A coinsurance100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Medicare Part B coinsurance100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Blood (3 pints)100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Part A hospice care coinsurance100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance100%100%100%100%100%
Medicare Part A deductible100%100%100%100%100%100%
Medicare Part B deductible100%100%
Medicare Part B excess charges100%100%
Foreign travel emergency80%80%80%80%80%

Plans C and F are only available to those who are first eligible for Medicare before 2020.

Dental and vision insurance

Stand-alone dental insurance is available through Aetna Dental Direct. Dental insurance covers all preventive services such as dental exams, X-rays and flouride treatments, so there will be no additional out-of-pocket costs for these services.

Aetna dental coverage isn't available in every state. For example, residents of New York can't access these plans. If this is the case in your state, we recommend looking for a different health insurer.

In other states, residents have additional purchasing options. Each plan typically has a different monthly premium, deductible and coinsurance level.

Aetna Dental Direct Preferred PPO
Aetna Dental Direct Core PPO
Deductible$50 individual/$150 family$50 individual/$150 family
Coinsurance
  • Preventive: No cost
  • Basic: 20%
  • Major: 50%
  • Preventive: No cost
  • Basic: 50%
  • Major: 50%
PremiumDepends on insured age and number of dependentsDepends on insured age and number of dependents

Aetna also supplies vision insurance policies. However, these plans are only offered in conjunction with employer health insurance and thus cannot be purchased on a stand-alone basis.

Member resources and benefits

Aetna member resources and benefits are above average when compared with other providers. Health, dental and vision insurance policyholders can access and monitor their policies through Aetna's online portal. Additionally, customers have the ability to find doctors, medicine and any health forms directly through the Aetna website and the Aetna Health app.

Attain by Aetna

Attain by Aetna is the app policyholders can use to monitor their insurance plans. Aetna also partnered with Apple to let members use the app on their Apple Watch devices to track their health in real time. Policyholders can track fitness goals and receive rewards for participating in healthy activities.

Customer reviews and complaints

If you're looking for cheap health insurance with multiple member perks, then Aetna is a good choice. Many customers say the website and mobile apps are user-friendly, but reviews are mixed when it comes to overall customer service.

Aetna received 60% more complaints than other companies of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Most complaints reported by NAIC were about Aetna's handling of claims, with customer service being the second-highest concern.

Customer satisfaction also scored a low mark of 796 in J.D. Power's Medicare Customer Satisfaction Survey. This number is slightly below the industry average of 809 and puts Aetna sixth in J.D. Power's overall ranking.

Some Aetna Medicare Advantage members reported problems with getting care easily and quickly and dissatisfaction with plan physicians. These concerns resulted in low scores ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 on a scale of 5 from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which measures health plans on quality of care and member satisfaction. A smaller number of Aetna Medicare Advantage plan members were happy with their access to care and prevention services, which resulted in NCQA scores of 4 to 4.5.

Financially, Aetna ranks among the strongest health insurance providers. The company has received an AM Best Financial Strength Rating of A (stable). This means the company is financially strong and has the ability to pay out claims in the future.

Methodology

We gathered sample rates from 2022 public use files from CMS for Aetna and other competitors to understand how Aetna's prices for health insurance stacked up against competitors. We gathered data for a single 40-year-old customer in Florida.

To evaluate Aetna's customer service and plan performance, we also considered its rating by the NAIC, J.D. Power's 2022 Medicare Customer Satisfaction Survey, AM Best and the NCQA.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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