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Aetna Introduces New Health Insurance Options For
Individuals And Their Families In California
Health plan options compatible with Health Savings
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., August 3, 2005 — Aetna
(NYSE: ΑET) announced today that it has begun marketing nine new
plans for individuals and their families in California. The two new Aetna
high-deductible health plans, which are compatible with the Aetna HealthFund®
Health Savings Account (HSA), four new Aetna Advantage plans and three
new Aetna Advantage Value plans are designed to provide affordable, comprehensive
health coverage options for individuals and their families.
"Aetna is firmly committed to addressing the health insurance needs
of the growing uninsured population, as well as the needs of individuals
who directly purchase health care for themselves and their family members,"
said Laurie Brubaker, Aetna’s national general manager for Individual
Markets. "We are developing new products and services to reach these
underserved markets. Our plans are presented in an easy-to-understand
format that provides guidance to individuals in finding plans that best
fit their unique needs during particular stages in life."
Aetna is offering individuals and their families nine new plan designs.
Four of the plans, which are called Aetna Advantage plans, offer members
the freedom to go directly to any doctor, hospital or health care professional
– including specialists – for covered expenses, with no referrals required.
If a member chooses a health care professional from Aetna’s extensive
network of participating physicians and hospitals, out-of-pocket costs
will be lower and there are no in-network claim forms. The plans include
"first- dollar coverage" and no deductibles for in-network doctor
All Aetna Advantage plans feature coverage for routine checkups and preventive
care, specialty care, hospitalization and surgery, diagnostic testing
and emergency care, subject to applicable copayments, coinsurance and
deductibles. The plans also include prescription drug coverage, subject
to a deductible and copayments, with no deductibles for generic prescriptions.
The three Aetna Advantage Value plans offer members similar benefits to
the Aetna Advantage plans. The Value plans offer members lower premium
payments; however, doctors’ office visits are covered only after members
reach annual deductible payments and prescription drug coverage is not
as comprehensive as with other Aetna plans. Also, all Aetna Advantage
and Aetna Advantage Value plans are available on a child-only basis.
The additional two plans, Aetna high-deductible health plans, are compatible
with the Aetna HealthFund HSA. Members can take advantage of a flexible
health benefits plan paired with an HSA. HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts
used to pay for qualified medical expenses. HSA contributions are tax
deductible and earn interest tax free. HSAs are portable, and unused balances
can be carried forward from year to year, making them a strong value for
In addition to plan benefits, through the Vision One®1 discount
program, Fitness Program and Alternative Health Care Programs, members
may access discounted rates from certain providers for products and services
available to the general public. The Vision One program offers special
member discounts on eye care products and services at participating optical
centers. The Fitness Program provides special membership rates at participating
fitness clubs contracted with Global Fit™2 and discounts on
certain equipment. The Alternative Health Care Programs offer reduced
rates on alternative therapies for members, including visits to chiropractors,
acupuncturists, nutritional counselors and massage therapists, and members
can save on over-the-counter vitamins and nutritional supplements through
the Vitamin Advantage™ program.
To help members make informed decisions, Aetna offers online tools such
as Aetna Navigator™, a member self-service website that provides a record
of personal health information, and DocFind®, a directory members can
use to search for health care professionals and facilities by particular
criteria. Members also have access to Aetna InteliHealth®, an online consumer
health information website.
"Consumer-directed health plans are starting to become popular,"
said Ron Herzog, partner with California Health Quote Insurance Services,
a Carlsbad-based independent benefits brokerage firm. "I am pleased
to see Aetna is offering high-deductible health plans, compatible with
HSAs, and a variety of other plans for individuals and their families
in California. Aetna has strong brand recognition and a national presence,
which is very appealing to clients."
"We are dedicated to satisfying consumers’ needs for choice, simplicity
and affordability," said Brubaker. "These cost-effective plans
are designed to fit a variety of personal situations – for example, new
graduates, those who are self-employed or between jobs, and early retirees.
Individuals can log on to our newly redesigned website, choose the health
insurance plans that best fit their health care needs, receive quotes
and apply online."
In California, there are more than 6.4 million people – or 18 percent
of the population – who are uninsured.3
In addition to California, Aetna plans for individuals and their families
are currently being sold directly to consumers or through independent
insurance agents and brokers in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia,
Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington,
Aetna plans for individuals and their families are currently being sold
through independent insurance agents and brokers in 35 counties in California.
As one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy,
group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information
and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.435 million medical
members, 12.976 million dental members, 9.117 million pharmacy members
and 13.662 million group insurance members to help them make better informed
decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related
risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through
a nationwide network of more than 684,000 health care professionals, including
over 405,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,135 hospitals.
(Figures as of June 30, 2005)