I wrote recently about groundhog day with Aetna . Sadly, the truth is that Aetna doesn’t want individual subscribers in Pennsylvania any longer. They say they value their subscribers, but really, they don’t. They are over us.
Being an individual subscriber off the “exchange” (as in you did NOT buy your health insurance from Healthcare.Gov) doesn’t give you a leg up with Aetna.
This summer we learned Aetna was pulling most of its Obamacare plans including in Pennsylvania , the state I live in. But I thought I would be o.k. because they said they were still offering coverage to individual subscribers.
For the last three years as an individual subscriber, Aetna has canceled whatever plan I was on. So today I was talking with my neighbor Deb who has the same plan I do, and she said she took Aetna’s letter to subscribers as they were cancelling all individual subscribers. I said “no way!”
But it got me worried, so I sent Aetna an e-mail:
I contacted you via Twitter because for the third year in a row I got a letter saying my plan was being canceled at year-end. I am not and never have been on the exchange.
I am in the Aetna Leap specialty I think that’s how you call it this year. I have always been an individual subscriber.
I have been an individual subscriber with you for years pre-dating the affordable care act.
You will find this email address attached to my official Aetna account.
I am a breast cancer survivor so my benefits are very important to me and I need continuity of care so I have to be able to have plans that have my doctors, or at least provide access to them. I have had no problem with the Leap specialty or whatever you call it I’m on this year other than the upfront co-pays are significantly more expensive for me because my doctors are in your top tier.
I thought I would be able to keep this plan a couple of years and you seriously ramp up subscriber stress levels with the continual canceling of plans like we are experiencing health insurance Groundhog Day.
I am extra concerned at this point because my neighbor up the street is on the same plan I am. She did not buy through the exchange either, she is an individual subscriber. The way she read your letter is that you are dumping all of us as individuals subscribers and we are not going to be able to have Aetna plans at all ever again.
So is Aetna getting rid of individual subscribers ?
Is this what I am up against?
I have had a very uneasy past few weeks since your letter came out. My level of anxiety was not helped by the fact that when I called the phone number you listed for us to call for help choosing a new plan and all I got was a recording and no way to talk to anyone.
I don’t want to be on the exchange with Obamacare I don’t trust their website.
But I don’t know that I can have health insurance through you because people seem to be interpreting your letter as you are dumping all of us individual subscribers.
I hate to have to bother you guys every year with this stuff, I’d like to be truly self-sufficient, but I need to know what it is I am supposed to do.
Will I have plans available through your company that will be good enough to give me the coverage I need? Or are you dumping ALL of your individual subscribers?
I cc’d the President Karen Lynch LynchKS@aetna.com
So a nice lady (no sarcasm, really, really nice) named Stephanie from Member Services called. Yes they would offer ONE plan for where I live. Something like “Aetna Leap Silver”.
Guess what? Only ONE of the doctors I have to see about twice a year are covered. The others are all “out of network”!
I said I am not some 24 year old— I can’t just up and switch my care team. I am a breast cancer survivor and technically a cancer patient in treatment for at least the next five years.
The response was I could fill out Transition of Care forms and maybe the doctors might be considered.
Translation: not bloody likely if we are being real about it.
Stephanie tells me how Aetna values ALL of their subscribers and I retorted how is that possible if you are dumping us?
“No we’re not.” she says
Yes you are I replied if you won’t structure plans that enable cancer patients (for example) to see their care teams.
We have other doctors you can choose from, was the response. I am paraphrasing because I don’t remember precisely as my head was spinning.
WTF Aetna? WTF?
Now I have to try to find other coverage, because I need to have these doctors.
Aetna is not having enough screws put to them in Washington DC obviously since they are screwing me over, a breast cancer survivor and patient. And they are doing it during freaking Pinktober.
Way to care about breast cancer survivors, Aetna. Way to care about the self-employed or folks that need to self-insure because employers do not offer healthcare coverage.
#AetnaSUCKS, pass it on.
I chose the image above which is a work of art actually because Aetna has made me feel like a nameless, faceless, unimportant person with no real value.
Aetna’s slogan should be “Aetna. We are cheap uncaring bastards who will take your money, give you a hard time, and then dump you when we feel like it. ”
PS Someone again please tell me how well Obamacare is working.
PPS I am now going to check political candidates and see who has received donations from Aetna. I won’t be voting for them.