Posts Tagged ‘Aetna health insurance’

Aetna Health Insurance Covers Prostate Cancer Drug

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

More prostate cancer patients will be receiving treatment with a newer cancer drug.  Previously, metastatic prostate cancer patients whose disease had spread to the brain or lungs were not able to receive Provenge.  Aetna health insurance did not pay for this course of treatment for patients whose cancer had spread to the brain, lungs, or liver.  They still don’t cover Provenge when patients’ cancer has spread to the liver, but have removed the exclusion for brain and lungs.  Toni Clarke’s Reuters story, “Aetna expands coverage of Dendreon drug; stock jumps,” says that the company who makes the drug has seen increasing stock prices because of this announcement.  Dendreon Corp.’s shares have increased ten percent.

Provenge was the first vaccine of its kind on the market when it was approved in April of 2010.  It is a personalized, therapeutic vaccine for cancer patients who have not responded to hormone therapy.  Unfortunately, the price tag of $93,000 per treatment coupled with physicians having trouble and confusion with reimbursement, hasn’t made it as popular as Dendreon thought it would be.  The company projected sales to be around $440 million in 2011, but they only saw around half of that.  Despite the controversy that Provenge has illicited, prostate cancer patients are hopeful that it will extend their life and improve the quality.  Initial clinical trials showed an increase of life expectancy of 4.1 months.  That increased survival time from 21.7 to 25.8 months.  With Aetna health insurance increasing the number of patients allowed to use Provenge, other insurers may follow suit to help cancer patients.

Republican States Hide Health Insurance Exchange Work

Monday, September 17th, 2012

It’s a tough time to be a Republican insurance commissioner right now, especially in a conservative state like Mississippi.  On one hand, the law is mandating that individual states show they will be able to run their own health insurance exchanges by November 16.  But with the Presidential election coming on November 6, some Republican party leaders are hopeful that the mandatory health insurance exchanges will go away if Mitt Romney defeats President Obama in the election.  By waiting to prepare a state health insurance exchange, insurance commissioners run the risk of Republicans losing the Presidential election and them running out of time to set up their exchanges.  If that happens, the federal government will run their exchange for them, which Mississippi’s commissioner does not think is in the best interest of his state.

Reuters’ Anna Yukhananov talked about the tough spot some commissioners are in in the article “U.S. state officials in stealth mode on health exchanges.”  Insurance commissioners in Republican run states have almost been forced to hide the work they are doing to prepare state health insurance exchanges because of pressure from Republican governors and other officials.  Some say that doing any work to follow the law of the Affordable Care Act somehow makes it more legitimate and they urge commissioners to force the federal government to run the exchanges themselves in hopes that they won’t be able to maintain the stipulations of the Act.  Mississippi’s Insurance Commissioner is under pressure from many organizations and political leaders not to organize an exchange, but he thinks it is better run by him than by the federal government in the case that the mandate is not repealed.

January of 2014 is the deadline for states to start running their health insurance exchanges, a mandate which hopes to help insure 16 million Americans that previously had no health insurance policies.  Thirteen states have committed to running their own exchange and seven states have said no way.  The remaining thirty states range from a loose commitment to establishing an exchange to the majority of Republican run states who have people working behind the scenes on their programs just in case they need them.  Insurance companies like Wellpoint, UnitedHealth, and Aetna health insurance would much rather see states run the program than the federal government because they know more of what is important locally.  While those in Republican states are under immense pressure not to conform to rules from the Affordable Care Act, many people don’t actually think Mitt Romney would get rid of the health insurance exchanges if elected.  It seems like it’s in the best interest of every state to at least have a plan, just in case.

Aetna Health Insurance Through Costco

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Time after time in surveys of their Costco members, the services department found that they are concerned with the increasing costs of health insurance.  A Costco Connection newsletter from earlier this year described Costco’s solution to their members’ concerns.  Costco hopes to reach businesses, families, and individuals who are looking for better deals on health insurance.  The products offered by Costco come after extensive research in the areas where Costco operates.  Saving money while meeting customers’ insurance needs is done through quality insurance companies and plans.

In 1997, Costco started offering their Executive members in the state of Washington business health insurance options.  Since then the program has expanded to California, Oregon, and Hawaii.  The plans offer preventative care, catastrophic coverage, and prescription drug coverage.  Dental and life insurance coverage is also available.  When members compare health insurance costs with the Costco business plans, they typically save 5 to 10% on their premiums from previous insurance plans.

Executive members in California have had the option of getting their individual and family health insurance coverage through Costco since 2005.  Because of the popularity of this program, a partnership with Aetna health insurance now offers all Costco members in Georgia and Pennsylvania individual health insurance plans.  Costco is pleased with the value they are able to bring their members and plans to further expand their health insurance offerings.  Through Costco’s website or toll free numbers, members can access information about the health insurance plans and other insurance that Costco offers, including Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

Costco Sells Aetna Health Insurance

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Retail giant Costco sells health insurance through their Costco Insurance Agency, Inc.  They are now working with Aetna health insurance to offer five different plans to Costco members looking for individual health insurance.  They are offered through Aetna Life Insurance Company and are specially priced for Costco members.  Those who sign up for the health insurance plans will have access to all of Aetna’s doctors and hospitals as well as preventative care coverage with the deductible waived.

There are many different features when you compare health insurance through Costco.  The premium prices have received special treatment solely for Costco members and co-pays are lower when members use Costco’s retail pharmacies.  There is no deductible for preventative care and the nationwide network of Aetna doctors and hospitals is available to Costco insurance members.  A free, round the clock nurse line is available, as well as online access to health records and other information.  For an added cost, members can even get dental care benefits.

Costco is currently offering their health insurance plans in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Texas with plans to eventually be nationwide.  Executive members of Costco receive added assistance with Health Advocate, a service that helps members understand different coverage options and answers member questions.  For more information, Costco members can call a toll free number or use an online service available through the company website.

Aetna Health Insurance Among Top Companies

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The top ten U.S. health insurance companies were recently rated by EquiTrend.  A press release from Blue Cross Blue Shield announces them as the top rated health insurance brand in the survey.  “Blue Cross/Blue Shield Highest Ranked Health Insurance Company Among Consumers” highlights the top six health insurers.  Aetna health insurance came in ranked second by consumers followed by United Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, CIGNA, and Humana.  The study to determine these rankings asked consumers about trust, equity, the connection to consumers, energy, commitment, and brand behavior and equity.

Many Americans will become more involved in choosing their health insurance company with the coming health care reform.  Instead of just going with the company that their employer offers coverage through, consumers will be researching ways to cut costs and maintain benefits as more of the health care burden is shifted to them.  Health care reform can bring about billions of dollars in revenue to insurance companies, but they’ll have to make the right marketing moves in order to get this new business.  Consumers’ perception of a company is just as important as their product, cost, and benefits since it can be hard to tell the difference in companies by those latter factors.