Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Aetna vs. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest

With all the competing insurance providers and insurance products on the market, it’s hard to make a decision on which company to choose. Each one claims to be the best at serving customers’ insurance needs, but how do they really stack up against each other? Two major insurers, Aetna and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, are diversified enough to offer a little bit of everything.

Comparing insurance on your own can be a real hassle. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE quote comparison tool at the top of the page to start saving now!

Aetna’s Growth Through the Years

Aetna is known to many though its “Aetna, I’m glad I Met Ya,” ad campaign in the early 1980s.

  • The company started an annuity fund to sell life insurance in 1850. It was officially incorporated three years later, and by 1865 its annual income exceeded $1 million.
  • In 1930 it was the first multiple insurer in the country to pay out $1 billion in claims, and by 1947 it provided group coverage to the United Nations.
  • In 1963 Aetna provided life insurance to the first seven U.S. astronauts, and in 1986 it bonded the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.

Today Aetna provides health, dental, pharmacy, vision, group life, disability and Medicare insurance. The company insures individuals, families and self-employed professionals. Some of the more innovative products include short-term health insurance and health savings accounts.

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Aetna Offers Non-Traditional Insurance Protection

Buying insurance protects against worst-case scenarios. Aetna offers plans to keep consumers from “falling through the cracks.”

  • For employees who lose their jobs, college students or new hires temporarily ineligible for company health insurance, Aetna fills in the gaps with short-term health insurance. The plan lets customers choose their level of coverage and they can keep the short-term plan for as long as they need it.
  • An Aetna Health Savings Account (HSA) offers a High Deductible Health Benefits and Insurance Plan. Customers can set up the account to help pay for qualified health-related expenses, and it provides tax advantages over paying all expenses out of pocket. There are no setup fees or monthly administration fees and the account activity can be tracked online.
  • Looking at the eyes as part of a comprehensive health overview, the provider’s vision plan helps spot signs of oncoming eye problems like glaucoma or astigmatism. It can also detect diabetes, high blood pressure, brain tumors and osteoporosis.
  • Aetna offers customized plans for retirees approaching age 65 as well as older consumers.
  • For younger retirees not able to get Medicare the HealthFund plan helps save for medical expenses down the road. There are also individual plans which can be tailored to the consumer.
  • For older retirees, pharmacy coverage includes the Aetna Medicare PPO and HMO plans, Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and the Aetna Extras program.

Choose Between Two Options for Buying Dental Insurance

Aetna gives customers a choice of either buying dental insurance coverage in addition to their existing health insurance policy or purchasing it separately. There are two dental plans, both offering basic care, preventive care and major services.

  • To purchase dental coverage to go along with the health plan customers can get a quote or apply online. This option is convenient for parents wanting to buy dental insurance for their children, or employees seeking to buy it for a spouse.
  • Residents of Arizona, Delaware, Illinois and Pennsylvania are able to buy dental insurance from Aetna without the accompanying health insurance plan.

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Pharmacy Insurance Helps with Medication Costs

Aetna’s Pharmacy Insurance defrays the costs of prescription medications, and just like the dental insurance, it can be bought separately or as part of a package.

  • The provider allows customers to choose between its single-tier, two-tier or three-tier plans, each with different co-pay.
  • Aetna’s consumer-directed plan, a departure from traditional prescription drug coverage, encourages employees to take a closer look at prescription drugs.
  • The PharmacyFunds Plan combines a fund, deductible and drug plan. This option gives employees experience managing their own fund and encourages them to compare prices between different pharmacies and brand name versus generic drugs.

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Life Insurance Company of the Southwest – a Different Focus

Founded in 1955, National Life Insurance of the Southwest sells life insurance and retirement-related annuities. It focuses heavily on retirement savings programs for educators and nonprofit employees, 403b tax-sheltered annuities and 457 plans for government workers. The provider is based in Dallas, TX and operates in 49 states plus the District of Columbia.

Term Life Insurance for Final Expenses

The types of life insurance this provider sells include Term, Whole, Universal, Indexed Universal and Variable Universal. Each type focuses on a different insurance need.

  • Term Insurance provides an option to convert to permanent life insurance before the term ends without being required to provide evidence of insurability. This type of insurance helps young families with limited cash flow and higher insurance needs and individuals who only need temporary insurance. It can also supplement a permanent policy.
  • Sometimes called permanent life insurance, Whole Life Insurance aims at protecting the insured for their entire lives. As long as the premiums are paid, death benefits are guaranteed.
  • Universal Life provides the flexibility to adjust the policy according to life insurance needs. It also has the benefit of accumulating tax-deferred cash value.
  • Indexed Universal Life is similar to traditional Universal Life insurance, but it gives the option of having the policy’s cash value tie in to a major market index. Consumers also can choose how interest is calculated for the policy’s cash value.
  • One of the advantages of Variable Universal Life insurance is the option for the consumer to combine their death benefits and premiums with the tax-deferred growth of the insurance policy’s cash value. This is good for individuals who want to see how the cash value performs in the equities market.

Optional Riders are Also Available

Life Insurance Company of the Southwest also sells Living Benefits, which are actually life insurance riders. Sometimes called Accelerated Death Benefit Riders, these are optional and can be added to a life insurance policy for no extra charge. The company refers to these riders as “life insurance you do not have to die to use,” and it offers specific terminal, chronic and critical illness riders. Living Benefits reduces the policy’s cash value and death benefits, and money received through this type of insurance rider could be taxable.

The annuities the insurance company sells provide a steady income stream, or income to supplement Social Security or retirement pension benefits. The tax-deferred money from annuities can provide needed financial assistance for fixed-income retirees just when they need it the most. The three types of annuities sold are fixed, indexed and variable.

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There is No Right or Wrong Insurer

Comparing insurers is highly subjective, and choosing one or the other depends on your present and future insurance needs. Aetna and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest are well-established enough to provide products filling virtually every insurance need. Regardless of whether the consumers are young families, single-parent households, employees or retirees, both companies are reliable providers of insurance at every stage of life.

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