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Aetna Wants To Teach You How to Shop for Health Insurance – For Those Who Can Still Afford It

Posted Dec 15 2009 1:37pm
According to the press release this is a joint effort along with AARP.  The video talks about staying in network.  It was interesting this week when I imagepublished about an iPhone application from United that shows the “in network doctors and hospitals”, I received a message back from an HR manager asking HealthNet to do the same.  This is what happens when you go out of network (screenshot from the video).  “That could be a bigger pain than the one you have in your leg”. 

You may be denied, look at your “big” picture and hope it doesn’t change tomorrow.  You can shop in 4 different ways the videos state.  Make a lit of what you need and look at options.  Coverage is critical, and ask about preventive care.  These are a few of the statement made in the videos. 

Get to know formularies, get a copy and study those tiers.  Anyway, I have embedded the videos below.  “Work with a reputable company” the video says, well that is in the eye of the beholder or the employer provided option in many instances.  The companies are trying to figure out what their risk in by insuring you. 

Hopefully what you choose today doesn’t change tomorrow, that is the issue we all face, what do you do when things change tomorrow?  One statement here, you need to know what you are getting, well sometimes that is not always clear as we hear in the news all the time, but if we had the algorithms that score us up front and they were certified, that could in fact make the job a little easier, just like the EHR software programs are certified, it would be nice to have these formulas filed and certified by the government too.  BD 

Press Release:

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Earlier this year, a survey from Aetna (NYSE: AET) found that 69 percent of consumers had never heard of individual health insurance plans or did not know much about them. With a new animated online tool developed by Aetna called “The 15-Minute Health Insurance Guide” (www.healthguidein15.com), consumers can quickly and easily learn what to look for when buying an individual insurance plan.

The guide focuses on the important aspects that consumers need to consider when purchasing an individual health insurance plan, such as the coverage the plan will provide for preventive care, doctor’s visits, prescription medication and more. It also describes the different parts of a plan that factor into the total cost, such as premiums, deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance, and maximum out-of-pocket payments.

“More people are looking at individual health insurance options, whether it is because they don’t have coverage through their employer, are retiring early and are not yet eligible for Medicare, or are looking for coverage after a layoff,” said Ann Bryan, head of Aetna's AARP Essential Premier Health Insurance program. “Before people begin comparing plans, it is important they have some general knowledge on the different features of a health plan and an idea of what type of plan would best fit their specific needs, and this tool can help people figure that out.”

The free online tutorial is broken into eight short chapters. In addition to the audio description that accompanies the animated presentation, captions are available. Consumers can also download key information, email the link to a friend or share it through various social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The entire 15-Minute Health Insurance Guide has also been divided into two sections and posted to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ1lM8narFo and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxGpbIUVwbw).

The development of this tool is part of a long-term relationship between Aetna and AARP. In January 2008, Aetna launched the AARP® Essential Premier Health Insurance suite of products available to AARP members ages 50-64 and their dependents. These products are currently available in 31 states and Washington, D.C.*

Additional Information

In addition to the introductory section on coverage and cost, the brief chapters of the 15-Minute Health Insurance Guide are:

  • Premiums and Deductibles - gives a definition of these terms and describes how they are related. image
  • “Co” Considerations – provides details on coinsurance and co-pays and how insurers and members share the cost of health care services.
  • Hospitals and Networks – describes how people can save money by receiving care at in-network health care providers.
  • Stay Well – emphasizes the importance of preventive care and that many insurers offer discounts on things like weight management programs and gym memberships.
  • Rx – contains information on the differences between generic and brand-name prescription drugs, as well as a definition of a prescription drug formulary.
  • What to Focus On – includes resources on how people can compare the different companies that offer individual insurance.
  • Take the Next Step – shows the various options people can use to purchase a plan, such as directly through an insurer or using a health insurance broker.

There is also a separate downloadable section in the guide that has “7 Top Tips,” which offers a written summary of some of the most important points made throughout the interactive version.

Commitment to Improving Health Benefits Literacy

In addition to www.healthguidein15.com, Aetna has also created written materials at an 8th-grade level or lower for members in the AARP Essential Premier Health Insurance plans.

Aetna and Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) also developed the “Magic@50” campaign, which was designed to help improve health literacy, particularly in diverse urban and underserved communities. This year, the campaign included free Community Health EXPO’s in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., as well as a presence at AARP’s National Event & EXPO, Vegas@50+. The 15-Minute Health Insurance Guide was featured at all of these events and received a very positive response from attendees.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

* The AARP Essential Premier Health Insurance products are currently available in 31 states and Washington, D.C. They are sold in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Washington, D.C. For more information, individuals can call 1-866-844-0888 or go to www.aarphealthcare.com/aetna.

Aetna Launches Animated, Online Educational Tutorial | Business Wire

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