Aetna, founded in 1850, is headquartered in Hartford, Conn., and offers group life, medical, dental and behavioral health plans, among other services. Its products are available in all 50 states.
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance was founded in 1946 in Jackson, Miss., for farm bureau members. It is available in 11 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. In addition to life insurance, its products may include property, car, health and pet insurance, depending on the state.
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Top 50 Rankings
In 2010, both Aetna and Southern Farm Bureau were named among 50 top performing life and health insurance providers by the Ward Group. The consulting group analyzed 800 U.S.-based companies with criteria including efficiency, financial stability and growth potential.
By the Numbers
Aetna has, according to the latest information on its website:
18.459 million medical members
13.670 million dental members
8.820 million pharmacy members
Southern Farm Bureau has more than 4,200 individual agents offering its products throughout the South.
Aetna is ranked No. 77 in 2011′s Fortune 500, with revenues exceeding $34 billion and assets of over $37 billion, placing it third — topped by UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint — among health insurance and managed care companies in the 500.
Southern Farm Bureau Life’s assets are listed as over $10 billion. Southern Farm Bureau Casualty’s assets are over $2 billion.
Consumers trying to decide between the two companies should consider both their insurance needs and their location.
Southern Farm Bureau Life is limited to both residents of 11 states and to Farm Bureau members. Its website points out, however, that consumers need not be farmers to join the farm bureau and purchase Southern Farm Bureau insurance. Those looking for health insurance, in particular, should check whether health insurance is offered, depending on the state.
Aetna offers its products in all 50 states, and they are available both through group plans and to individuals and families. The insurance plans and the names will vary by state, though.
Aetna: In some cases, Aetna’s website says, individuals may qualify through group plans as a business group of one to qualify for a small-business plan. In addition to medical plans, Aetna offers products for singles and families, retirees and young people just starting out, including dental insurance, health expense plans, pharmacy plans, Medicare and disability insurance, behavioral and mental health, wellness products and discounts, vision insurance and student health insurance. Aetna says that in addition to group coverage, its customers include self-employed and other people such as students, part-time and hourly workers and American expatriates.
Southern Farm Bureau: In states where available, health insurance products may include health, life, medicine, prescription insurance, dental insurance, long-term care, hospital, hospital stay, surgery, deductible, co-pay, co-insurance, pre-existing conditions, HMO, PPO and disability coverage.
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Southern Farm Bureau: The company offers life insurance products geared to both families and singles. Choices include permanent and term insurance. Agents can help customers with strategies geared toward business, estate or retirement planning.
Products with a death benefit include whole life with modified, single or adjustable premiums, or whole life with 15, 20 or 30 payments.
Retirement planning options include annuities, Roth IRAs, Individual Retirement Annuity (IRA), Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEPP) or Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE IRA).
Agents can also help customers coordinate estate planning and business planning, the company’s website says.
Aetna: The company offers life insurance through employer-provided benefits plans only. The options include basic term life, supplemental term life, accidental death and personal loss, dependent life insurance and dependent AD and P.
Casualty, Property and Auto
Southern Farm Bureau agents can give quotes for homeowner and auto insurance, depending on state. The company’s website offers links to available states. In most cases, the company says, “our agents are located right up the road.” Click on your state, and a map will direct you to agents nearest you.
Aetna does not offer homeowners or automobile insurance.
Southern Farm Bureau also offers disability income plans, survivor life insurance (second to die) and cancer insurance.
Aetna’s website offers a “Living Healthy” feature with articles and informational tools about men’s health, women’s health and children’s health.
Southern Farm Bureau’s motto is “Helping You is What We Do Best.”
Aetna’s slogan and advertising motto is “We Want You to Know.”
Awards and Ratings
Southern Farm Bureau touts an A+ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best, an A (Excellent) rating from TheStreet.com, formerly Weiss Ratings Inc., and its recognition in Ward’s Top 50.
Aetna’s website points out that it “is the first health insurer to offer electronic contract processing to doctors, hospitals and other health care facilities,” for which it won a 2011 International Data Group InfoWorld Green 15 Award. It also finished first among national health plans in the 2011 PayerView Rankings, for business practices that are “among the most simple to use, efficient and transparent.”
If a customer is comparing Aetna and Southern Farm Bureau, he should consider both the type of insurance products he needs and where those products will be available.
Aetna offers health insurance to individuals and families, and health and life insurance through group plans, throughout the United States as well as to expatriates.
Southern Farm Bureau, on the other hand, offers life and property insurance to farm bureau members in 11 Southern states. Individual agents may also offer health insurance plans.
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