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Aetna Review

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PROS / The premiums are among the least expensive of those health insurance plans we evaluated.

CONS / It lacks short-term policies to cover gaps in insurance caused by changes in employment or other issues.

 VERDICT / While individual results vary, Aetna provides some of the least expensive health insurance plans of the providers we tested. It does not provide short-term coverage, but it has several supplemental programs and is a solid program worth considering.

Aetna is a longstanding health insurance company that provides a multitude of different insurance plans, including health insurance available privately and through the health exchange, dental and vision plans, student insurance and international insurance. It can also provide supplemental insurances to augment your current plan, such as hospital or critical care plans. It lacks short-term policies to cover gaps in insurance but does have some of the cheapest rates of the companies we tested.

We surveyed prices based on three client profiles across five zip codes in the United States. We found Aetna's plans to be average in selection, except in the case of 55-year-olds, which didn't have as many offerings. The prices were overall cheaper – $600/year cheaper for each case study, averaged across the zip codes. Your results may vary, of course, based on your individual needs, but Aetna is certainly worth considering for this reason alone.

With Aetna, you do not get the option of short-term plans. This is a drawback if you are between jobs, a recent college graduate or waiting to be enrolled in your company's insurance. Aetna makes it easy to add dental and vision coverage to your health insurance. You can also add life insurance through Aetna.

It takes several clicks to find contact information on the website; the contact page pushes you to use the FAQs first. However, you can tweet Aetna for assistance. The live chat is a nice feature not found with many health insurance provider websites, but it's only available when looking at quotes.

We didn't find the quote feature quite as smooth as those of other health insurance companies we tested. Aetna had a series of sliding windows that asked questions, and in some cases, directed us to a different website where we had to input information a second time. A few times the comparison tool failed, so we could not look at two plans side by side. These are minor annoyances, however.

Summary

Aetna has been in the insurance trade since the 1890s and continues to provide quality programs today. In addition to Affordable Care Act-approved plans, it offers supplemental insurance for specific cases, from vision to critical care, although it lacks short-term plans for coverage gaps. While the quote feature had some problems that made it more difficult than the others we tested, it still isn't difficult to get a quote, and the lower average premiums make it worth checking out.