Aetna Introduces Medicare Advantage Plans in Arizona
Sep 9, 2005 - 5:31:38 PM

Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona now have new options from Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) for health care coverage that provides them with additional choices, flexibility and value. Aetna has introduced individual Medicare Advantage plan options, including the Aetna Golden Medicare Plan® (HMO) and Golden Choice™ Plan (PPO), in Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County.

The announcement of these new plans marks Aetna’s return to Arizona’s Medicare Advantage market. Aetna currently offers three Medicare supplement insurance policies under the Aetna Individual Medicare Supplement PlanSM in Arizona.

"Aetna is continuing to expand its participation in the Medicare Advantage program in 2005," said Frank G. McCauley, head of Aetna’s Retiree Markets. "We are committed to offering a broad portfolio of health benefits solutions for retirees, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to expand our coverage into Arizona." Aetna expects to more than double the number of states in which it plans to offer its Medicare Advantage plans, from 5 today to 13 by 2006, pending federal approval.

"Aetna is very pleased to be able once again to offer Medicare Advantage plans to beneficiaries living in Arizona," said Gary Culp, head of Aetna’s Medicare business in the West Region. "The addition of the Medicare Advantage plans broadens Aetna’s portfolio of health benefits products available to Medicare eligible beneficiaries in Arizona, providing them with additional choices and price options."

The Aetna Golden Medicare Plan (HMO) plan in Maricopa County features:

* No additional plan premium.
* Unlimited coverage of generic drugs.
* Optional supplemental brand-name prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries have the option to increase their coverage for standard (formulary) brand-name drugs and nonformulary brand prescription drugs for an additional monthly premium.
* Optional supplemental dental benefits. For an additional monthly premium, beneficiaries have a choice of two dental plans, one that covers preventive services and one that provides more comprehensive coverage.

The Aetna Golden Medicare Plan in Pinal County features:

* No copayments for preventive services. Members can obtain routine physicals and other preventive care services including cancer screenings without copayments.
* Optional prescription drug coverage.

The Aetna Golden Choice Plan (PPO) in both Maricopa and Pinal counties provides beneficiaries with greater flexibility, enabling them to go to doctors, specialists and hospitals in or out of network. Referrals are not needed for in-network services.

In addition, Aetna has filed applications with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer the new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) to individuals and employers on a national basis, except the territories, in 2006. Application and bid filings for each PDP region are subject to CMS approval with contracts to be awarded in September.

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