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Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 14, 2021 05:03PM
I am looking at part D plans and Aetna has the lowest cost plan for me.
My supplement policy will be through AARP United Healthcare, but their drug plans are a lot higher, so I am thinking I will go with Aetna. I have Aetna COBRA coverage now, but I was wondering how they were with Part D plans.
If anyone has had good or bad experience with them, please let me know. smiling smiley





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: October 14, 2021 05:43PM
Medicare/SSA has an online tool for ferreting out Rx plans.... load in all your meds with their frequency and quantity, and the widget will spit out the top plans for your situation... which includes pricing from affiliated pharmacies. That’s gonna be your best bet. Maybe check out combo plans if that makes sense in your area.... they’re mostly HMO’s, but if they dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s t may be an option. If you want/need a PPO that probably won’t work, so you’re back to the aforementioned widget. Good luck.
==
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: October 14, 2021 06:00PM
Quote
Buzz
Medicare/SSA has an online tool for ferreting out Rx plans.... load in all your meds with their frequency and quantity, and the widget will spit out the top plans for your situation... which includes pricing from affiliated pharmacies. That’s gonna be your best bet. Maybe check out combo plans if that makes sense in your area.... they’re mostly HMO’s, but if they dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s t may be an option. If you want/need a PPO that probably won’t work, so you’re back to the aforementioned widget. Good luck.
==

Looking for a part D plan, I used the online tool and wound up going with an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan instead. It's cheaper than Medicare with part D, and has worked out OK.
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 14, 2021 06:36PM
Quote
S. Pupp
Quote
Buzz
Medicare/SSA has an online tool for ferreting out Rx plans.... load in all your meds with their frequency and quantity, and the widget will spit out the top plans for your situation... which includes pricing from affiliated pharmacies. That’s gonna be your best bet. Maybe check out combo plans if that makes sense in your area.... they’re mostly HMO’s, but if they dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s t may be an option. If you want/need a PPO that probably won’t work, so you’re back to the aforementioned widget. Good luck.
==

Looking for a part D plan, I used the online tool and wound up going with an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan instead. It's cheaper than Medicare with part D, and has worked out OK.

I have been using the widget to research, and the Aetna cheapie plan is best for me, I was just wondering how the company was for handling claims and such.
I don’t want an advantage plan, so I will have to get a stands alone D plan.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: October 14, 2021 06:54PM
I used to have Aetna's supplement plan and it was fine but I switched to UHC because in my area more Drs. take it over Aetna. I'm happy with UHC, they even approved the genetic screening of my cancer biopsies, I didn't figure they would. With all the tests and imaging and such I've had this year they haven't denied a single procedure or test. This year alone I've had one MRI, one CT scan, two lengthy ultrasounds, one biopsy, one two week heart monitor, and loads of Dr. visits, it's been a heckuva year and I'm not done yet, GI Dr. is next.



Grateful11
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: TL
Date: October 14, 2021 07:05PM
CVS Caremark (owner of Aetna and manager of the Rx business) has spent the last few years in a pretty strong pursuit of new members to its med D business. The basic PDP offering especially has seen significantly low costs in comparison to the industry writ large. They are doing it in large part with very aggressive formulary management. In other words, they are achieving lower premiums by reducing drugs covered and moving anything they can to higher copay tiers. All plan sponsors do this to some degree, but from what I’ve seen the cvs individual PDP takes this strategy to a greater level.

As long as your drugs are covered, and you understand the cost structure particularly in the event your needs may change mid year, I would expect the average experience with CVS to be fine. CMS (Medicare) regulates claim processing to a significant extent, so apart from copay and formulary how claims pay (or not) really isn’t that different among plan sponsors when you poke under the hood. If you are the type to need a lot of assistance through customer service you will find differences among the major plans, but the average person will not experience major differences.

As an employee of a competitor, if the prices and coverage work best for your situation, I would not hesitate to opt for an Aetna/cvs plan. They’ve come a long way since CMS imposed plan sanctions last decade, and while it pains me to say so (again, competitor) they are a perfectly fine option to use.
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 14, 2021 07:30PM
Quote
TL
CVS Caremark (owner of Aetna and manager of the Rx business) has spent the last few years in a pretty strong pursuit of new members to its med D business. The basic PDP offering especially has seen significantly low costs in comparison to the industry writ large. They are doing it in large part with very aggressive formulary management. In other words, they are achieving lower premiums by reducing drugs covered and moving anything they can to higher copay tiers. All plan sponsors do this to some degree, but from what I’ve seen the cvs individual PDP takes this strategy to a greater level.

As long as your drugs are covered, and you understand the cost structure particularly in the event your needs may change mid year, I would expect the average experience with CVS to be fine. CMS (Medicare) regulates claim processing to a significant extent, so apart from copay and formulary how claims pay (or not) really isn’t that different among plan sponsors when you poke under the hood. If you are the type to need a lot of assistance through customer service you will find differences among the major plans, but the average person will not experience major differences.

As an employee of a competitor, if the prices and coverage work best for your situation, I would not hesitate to opt for an Aetna/cvs plan. They’ve come a long way since CMS imposed plan sanctions last decade, and while it pains me to say so (again, competitor) they are a perfectly fine option to use.

Thanks so much for the info. I am also thinking of switching my mom to this plan, for Part D only, because CVS is basically the only game in town for her prescription needs. I had forgotten that CVS was the owner of Aetna so it makes sense that the tier 1 drugs are so cheap under this plan. My mom only has one ongoing script for a generic BP med, so unless things change drastically, which can always happen, she would save a lot in premiums with the Aetna plan rather than the UHC plan she has now.
Both of us, and my husband will be with UHC for the medicap supplement. Hubby will stay with UHC for his meds, since his is a totally different situation.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: October 14, 2021 07:31PM
Quote
rgG
Quote
S. Pupp
Quote
Buzz
Medicare/SSA has an online tool for ferreting out Rx plans.... load in all your meds with their frequency and quantity, and the widget will spit out the top plans for your situation... which includes pricing from affiliated pharmacies. That’s gonna be your best bet. Maybe check out combo plans if that makes sense in your area.... they’re mostly HMO’s, but if they dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s t may be an option. If you want/need a PPO that probably won’t work, so you’re back to the aforementioned widget. Good luck.
==

Looking for a part D plan, I used the online tool and wound up going with an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan instead. It's cheaper than Medicare with part D, and has worked out OK.

I have been using the widget to research, and the Aetna cheapie plan is best for me, I was just wondering how the company was for handling claims and such.
I don’t want an advantage plan, so I will have to get a stands alone D plan.

We ended up w/ different plans for Part D... other human has Humana, and I ended up w/ Cigna. We have a bunch of health issues, so we have an older Blue Shield deluxe, good everywhere, PPO supplement that isn't offered anymore. There's a site(s) that rates Medicare plans, and widget also has a star rating filter. Most, if not all, of the big, recognizable names handle claims promptly. Aetna should be fine.

Beware that not all meds are on all formularies, so that's why you gotta check the widget out thoroughly.... if/when you hit a super-high priced med, price the widget w/ and w/o it. I get one med from Canada that's $180 every 3 months, because no one's formulary coverage comes close. I also take a med that we use a local pharmacy coupon for, and that's $140 every 3 months. Spousal unit has one expensive med that we use a local coupon for that's about $70, as needed. Everything else is really cheap w/ the drug plans, which are $24/mo. for me, and $17/mo. for her.

If your meds are not at all out of the ordinary, the widget is easy as heck, just filter for 3 stars and above. Happy hunting.
==
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: flareslow
Date: October 14, 2021 07:38PM
I have Aetna for Part D. I've had no issues with them. It works well at CVS, most of my meds are free.
I do get dinged for Celebrex (generic version) for $28 per month.
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 14, 2021 07:39PM
Quote
Buzz
Quote
rgG
Quote
S. Pupp
Quote
Buzz
Medicare/SSA has an online tool for ferreting out Rx plans.... load in all your meds with their frequency and quantity, and the widget will spit out the top plans for your situation... which includes pricing from affiliated pharmacies. That’s gonna be your best bet. Maybe check out combo plans if that makes sense in your area.... they’re mostly HMO’s, but if they dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s t may be an option. If you want/need a PPO that probably won’t work, so you’re back to the aforementioned widget. Good luck.
==

Looking for a part D plan, I used the online tool and wound up going with an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan instead. It's cheaper than Medicare with part D, and has worked out OK.

I have been using the widget to research, and the Aetna cheapie plan is best for me, I was just wondering how the company was for handling claims and such.
I don’t want an advantage plan, so I will have to get a stands alone D plan.

We ended up w/ different plans for Part D... other human has Humana, and I ended up w/ Cigna. We have a bunch of health issues, so we have an older Blue Shield deluxe, good everywhere, PPO supplement that isn't offered anymore. There's a site(s) that rates Medicare plans, and widget also has a star rating filter. Most, if not all, of the big, recognizable names handle claims promptly. Aetna should be fine.

Beware that not all meds are on all formularies, so that's why you gotta check the widget out thoroughly.... if/when you hit a super-high priced med, price the widget w/ and w/o it. I get one med from Canada that's $180 every 3 months, because no one's formulary coverage comes close. I also take a med that we use a local pharmacy coupon for, and that's $140 every 3 months. Spousal unit has one expensive med that we use a local coupon for that's about $70, as needed. Everything else is really cheap w/ the drug plans, which are $24/mo. for me, and $17/mo. for her.

If your meds are not at all out of the ordinary, the widget is easy as heck, just filter for 3 stars and above. Happy hunting.
==

Thankfully, I don’t have any recurring prescription drugs, right now, but that can obviously change at any time, that’s why it is hard to decide which is best. The cheapest is best now, but if I get an expensive drug, it might not be, but since I have no idea if, or when, I will need an expensive drug, I don’t have any info to input. Good problem to have, but also confusing, a bit.
I ran my husband's meds and it would not be a good plan for him, so it truly depends on each individual and the meds they take.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 14, 2021 07:42PM
Quote
flareslow
I have Aetna for Part D. I've had no issues with them. It works well at CVS, most of my meds are free.
I do get dinged for Celebrex (generic version) for $28 per month.

Thanks! My mom pretty much has to use CVS, so it might be a good fit for her, is what I am hoping.
I have other options, but also many CVS stores around.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: GGD
Date: October 14, 2021 09:45PM
Just make sure you understand their different classes of pharmacies. "Preferred" "In-Network" and "Out-of-Network". For their cheapest plan in my area, CVS, Costco, and many grocery chains are "Preferred", and Walgreens is "Out-of-network". I was a bit surprised that a large nationwide pharmacy chain was completely out-of-network on their plan, but given that they're run by CVS it's understandable. Their more expensive plans did include Walgreens.
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: October 15, 2021 01:53AM
Quote
GGD
Just make sure you understand their different classes of pharmacies. "Preferred" "In-Network" and "Out-of-Network". For their cheapest plan in my area, CVS, Costco, and many grocery chains are "Preferred", and Walgreens is "Out-of-network". I was a bit surprised that a large nationwide pharmacy chain was completely out-of-network on their plan, but given that they're run by CVS it's understandable. Their more expensive plans did include Walgreens.

Excellent point to be aware of.... as well as "good everywhere in USA", which is a filter choice in the online widget. Some plans are quite localized. The absolute cheapest plans here in SoCal are fraught w/ gotcha's, and are really only good if you never go anywhere, and never take anything more than a couple of the cheapest generic drugs.... read that to mean they're only there to satisfy the Part D requirement, patient be damned.

If/when you do need meds, there's also the dreaded "donut hole" to contend with, in addition to a deductible, so that's also something that needs to be factored in. Thankfully (for her) Rhonda doesn't seem likely to have to contend with a lot of that. Many companies have similar plans that are priced differently because of the way they handle those potential out of pocket expenses. That's where some math skills come in handy. With Rhonda's clean slate, she'd need a crystal ball to predict future needs, so she just needs to be prudent w/ her best guess situation.
==
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: mspace
Date: October 15, 2021 08:48AM
For us, this year it will be the AARP Walgreens plan D. They are the cheapest, along with having a couple of the drugs on the formulary, when no one else did. Still too expensive, so will get from Canada, but at least it's a backup.
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Re: Anyone use Aetna for Medicare Part D?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: October 15, 2021 04:13PM
I assume you used the Medicare Plan Finder, put in all your drugs and the pharmacies you want to use, so just pick the plan with the lowest total cost regardless of the name.

The insurance companies and their plans are regulated up the wazoo by Medicare. (The only thing to worry about is if the plan has a "warning" icon on the medicare.gov site because of low ratings. That would be pretty rare, though.)

You will want to recheck every year because the plans change.
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