Aetna 2021 Medicare Plans Focus on Total Health and Making Care More Affordable and Convenient
Aetna , a CVS Health company, announced its 2021 Medicare offerings, featuring increased integration with CVS Health; expanded and differentiated Medicare Advantage plan options, including HMO and Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan offerings in new states; new Aetna Medicare Eagle plans designed especially for Veterans; and the lowest premium standalone prescription drug plan product in all 50 states and D.C.
A pioneer in the Medicare industry, Aetna has served Medicare beneficiaries since 1966, when it paid the nation’s first Medicare claim. Aetna now serves nearly 9.2 million Medicare members nationwide, as of June 30, 2020.
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“Now more than ever, it’s important for older adults to focus on their total health — body, mind and spirit,” said Christopher Ciano, president of Aetna Medicare. “To help members improve their health, we expanded our Aetna Medicare Solutions portfolio of products to include new plans and benefits designed to make care more affordable and convenient. As part of CVS Health, we’re bringing care closer to home and making more meaningful connections that help our members age actively on their path to better health.”
To encourage members to stay active and choose the plan that best fits their needs, Aetna announced legendary U.S. figure skater Dorothy Hamill1 as its new Medicare spokesperson. Hamill will appear in Aetna Medicare’s advertising campaign and is featured in a new Aetna guide called Putting the ‘Me’ in Medicare eBook. The eBook offers tips and resources on eating healthy, staying active, using technology tools and maintaining mental health.
Medicare Advantage plans
Nearly 2.7 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in an Aetna Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, which can include extra benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, vision, dental, hearing and fitness.
For 2021, Aetna is offering Individual Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans in 46 states plus Washington, D.C. Aetna added 115 new counties across the country, providing an additional 1.9 million more Medicare beneficiaries access to an Aetna plan. In total, Aetna will offer MAPD plans in 1,793 counties in 2021 accessible by 54.7 million Medicare beneficiaries.
To make plans more affordable, Aetna expanded its $0 premium plan options. Aetna estimates 81 percent of the Medicare-eligible beneficiaries in the U.S. will now have access to a $0 monthly premium Aetna Medicare Advantage plan.
For those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, Aetna expanded its Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (DSNP) offering to select counties in 9 new states — bringing Aetna’s total DSNP footprint to 604 counties in 23 states. New DSNP markets include California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and New York.
New for 2021, Aetna will offer Aetna Medicare Eagle MA plans in 27 states. These MA-only plans are designed especially for Veterans to complement their VA health care coverage. With a $0 monthly premium, plans will include, dental, vision, SilverSneakers fitness program, and $0 or low PCP and lab cost shares. Most of these plans will also include hearing, an over-the-counter allowance and meal benefits to improve overall health and wellness.
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Medicare prescription drug plans
Aetna’s standalone prescription drug plans (PDP) serve 5.6 million members. In 2021, Aetna Medicare will offer three individual standalone PDPs. A new plan, SilverScript SmartRx (PDP), featuring an average monthly premium of $7.15, will be the lowest premium available in all 50 states and D.C. SilverScript Choice (PDP) will continue to be available in all 50 states and D.C. and will be under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) benchmark pricing in 49 states and D.C. SilverScript Plus (PDP), the plan with the most robust prescription drug coverage, will continue to be available in 49 states and D.C. All three plans feature $0 Tier 1 copays at preferred retail pharmacies.4
Medicare Supplement plans
We offer competitively priced individual Medicare Supplement insurance plans from the CVS Health/Aetna family of companies nationwide. With nearly 1 million members, our Medicare Supplement plans utilize a simplified underwriting process. We also offer a dental, vision and hearing product in 37 states. Our ancillary portfolio covers 45 states and includes the new Accendo (CVS Health) Final Expense whole life product. Ancillary products can provide members with benefits paid directly to them after being diagnosed with cancer, or for hospital stays and home care.
Offering innovative programs and benefits through CVS Health
As a CVS Health company, Aetna provides individual MA members access to convenient and affordable care through various benefits and programs:
- Nationally contracted walk-in clinics and MinuteClinic retail health clinics: Members in PPO and HMO plans that do not require a primary care physician (PCP) can visit either one of the nationally contracted walk-in clinics or MinuteClinic locations and pay the same copay as a regular visit to a PCP. With approximately 1,100 locations across 33 states and Washington, D.C., MinuteClinic offers convenient access to care for minor illnesses, injuries and wellness services. Located in select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores, MinuteClinic locations are open seven days a week, with walk-in visits available at most locations. MinuteClinic also offers telehealth options if members cannot receive care in person.
- Lowering insulin costs: In Florida, Aetna is participating in the Part D Senior Savings Model, a CMS demonstration that allows Part D plans to offer affordable, predictable insulin copays. Select Florida plans will offer members $0 Tier 1 and Tier 2 insulin at preferred pharmacies.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) benefit: Aetna will continue to offer members in many of its MA plans an OTC benefit allowance for a list of items they may obtain through OTC Health Solutions, a CVS Health company. Members can choose from an expanded 2021 product selection list with 65 percent more items in 2021. Members can place their orders by phone or online for home delivery. They can also use their benefit in-store at over 2,400 select CVS Pharmacy or Navarro Discount Pharmacy retail locations across 29 states, up from 12 states in 2020.
- Pharmacist panels: Aetna will connect members with their local CVS pharmacist who can deliver personalized advice to drive medication adherence, offer alternatives for high-risk medications, recommend screenings and administer immunizations. Pharmacists can also connect members with recommended health plan resources and support their enrollment into care management programs.
Addressing social determinants of health with new and expanded MA benefits
Aetna Medicare Advantage plans take a total approach to health that goes beyond clinical care. With this approach in mind, Aetna expanded benefits to include:
- Telehealth: All Aetna 2021 MA plans will offer virtual primary and urgent care visits to help members access care, including after hours or weekend care, sick visits and prescription refills. Select plans will also cover virtual mental and behavioral health visits.
- In-home assessments: All MA plans will offer an annual in-home assessment at no cost that includes a comprehensive health risk assessment and non-invasive physical exam from the comfort of the member’s home. The clinician will also assess the home environment for potential fall risks, helping the member stay safe in their home.
- Companionship benefit: In partnership with Papa Inc., Aetna is expanding its companionship benefit to address social isolation in select plans in six states. Papa connects local college-age individuals to older adults who need help with companionship, light house chores and technology lessons. Remote companionship can be delivered through telephone or secure video.
- Healthy Foods debit card: To help address food insecurity, a new Healthy Foods debit card will be included on 24 DSNP plans for members with chronic conditions and two Pennsylvania plans for members in the Healthy Heart partnership program. The benefit will provide a monthly allowance so members can purchase approved food items, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and dairy.
- Foodsmart: In Illinois, a new nutrition benefit called Foodsmart will be included with select plans. With this benefit, the member’s condition and eating habits will be assessed via the web or telephone with customized meal plans and guidance provided to help members make healthy food choices. This benefit also gives members access to registered dieticians.
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Remote Monitoring Program: Aetna is implementing a Home Heart Care program with six individual plans in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky. Eligible high-risk members with CHF who agree to participate in the program and follow the care management requirements will receive a 5G-enabled scale, blood pressure cuff and electronic tablet to monitor their weight and blood pressure at home.
In addition, Aetna will continue to offer the following supplemental benefits or other services as part of its Medicare Advantage plans:
- The Aetna Resources For Living program helps address loneliness and other social needs by connecting our members with important community resources, such as transportation, housing, food programs, caregiver support and utility assistance, based on individual member needs. The program serves as an early point of intervention for the many issues that affect our members’ physical and mental health.
- SilverSneakers fitness memberships are available to all of Aetna’s individual MA members at no extra cost. Through SilverSneakers, members have access to 15,000+ fitness locations that offer instructor-led, group fitness classes and other opportunities for members to socialize within their communities. The membership also includes video workouts and live online classes and workshops.
- Aetna will continue to offer most Medicare Advantage members access to routine vision, dental and hearing coverage.
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Continuing efforts to help members during the COVID-19 pandemic
From waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications, to increased access to telehealth visits, to lifting cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment, CVS Health and Aetna Medicare have been a leading force in efforts to help seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most recently, Aetna shipped Caring for You kits of over-the-counter items to all its Medicare Advantage members across the country to help support them with simple self-care at home. Kits included a thermometer, hand sanitizer and Aetna-branded face mask, among other items.
Aetna extended waivers for Medicare Advantage member cost shares for in-network primary care office visits and all telehealth visits for any reason through December 31, 2020.
Aetna Medicare will continue to support members in 2021 by committing to $0 COVID-19 testing even if the public health emergency ends. The company will also waive PCP cost shares and expand coverage of virtual mental health services while the COVID-19 public health emergency is in effect. Building on the Caring for You kits, Aetna will also send members diagnosed with COVID-19 a box of supplies to help with recovery and prevent further spread.