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

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2020

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Aetna vs. USAble Life Insurance

When comparing insurance providers and the services they offer, it is important to consider the needs of the consumer. Different types of insurance fit different needs. For example, an individual who is relatively healthy may need protection in case of catastrophic illness or accident but may be able to cover occasional expenses out of pocket. A person with a family to care for or with a chronic condition would need a more comprehensive policy.

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Individual or Group Plan

Another important point to consider is whether the company sells individual or group plans or both. Aetna sells insurance for individuals, families and insurance for self-employed individuals. The company also provides group insurance to employers. Aetna is active in all 50 states and Washington DC.

USAble Life Insurance Company’s health division deals exclusively with group plans sponsored by employers. The company covers Texas, Missouri and Arkansas. Consumer needs, state of residence and employment will help to determine which company is better for a particular buyer.

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Ratings of Aetna and USAble Life Health Plans

It is also important to look at the way insurance companies are rated by responsible third-party organizations. Both Aetna and USAble Life Insurance Company fare well in this regard. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) rates health insurance companies that apply for accreditation and maintains a free website for consumers. Their Health Plan Report Card is updated every month.

Best’s Review is an award-winning magazine that covers the insurance industry. The magazine has given USAble Life an “A” rating for six consecutive years. In 2011, the company was ranked 19th.

Aetna is rated “Excellent” in most states by NCQA. Consumer Reportsranks Aetna very high. Among the 10 states surveyed for this report, CR ranked Aetna among the top five Private PPO providers, usually first or second. USAble Life Insurance health plans were not ranked by either NCQA or Consumer Reports.

Services Offered by Aetna Health Plans

Aetna offers a wide variety of health plans either to individuals and families or through employer group plans. Plans are compatible with a Health Savings Account. Customers can save money by seeing physicians in the company’s network. The company provides:

Medical Insurance with several different options, including:

  • PPO High-Deductible 3500: This plan provides low premiums with a higher deductible. After deductible is satisfied, co-pay is 10 percent for most services. Consumers can see any licensed physician for covered services.
  • PPO High Deductible 5500: Similar to PPO 3500 but 0 co-pay after deductible is reached.
  • PPO 2500: Higher premium and a lower yearly deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • PPO 5000: Lower premium than 2500 with higher deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • PPO Value 5000: Lower premium with higher yearly deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Preventive and Hospital Care 2750: Lower monthly premium with lower deductible and higher out-of-pocket costs.

With Aetna you can purchase dental plans with health insurance plans. In Arizona, Delaware, Illinois and Pennsylvania, dental plans can also be purchased as stand-alone policies.
Anyone with an Aetna health insurance policy can also purchase an Aetna Visions discount program. This plan provides savings on exams, LASIK surgery, eyeglasses and contact lenses. Aetna works with:

  • LensCrafters
  • Pearle Vision
  • Target Optical
  • JCPenney Optical
  • Sears Optical
  • Many independent eye care professionals

Medicare supplemental plans are also offered, including:

Aetna Medicare Advantage Plans (MA/MAPD)
Aetna Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)
Aetna Medicare Rx Plans (PDP)

Student health coverage plans from Aetna are offered through college and university sponsorship.

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Unique Services Aetna Offers Only with Group Plans

In addition to the individual plans, Aetna offers comprehensive group coverage through employers. Some services offered by the company are available only with group plans. These include:

  • Disability insurance: Based on annual salary and other forms of employer-supplied income, disability insurance protects income when the wage earner is not able to work for extended periods of time. Both short-term and long-term protection are offered. Plans vary by employer.
  • Pharmacy coverage pays for prescription drugs ordered by the physician. The plan may cover Aetna’s mail-order prescription service and specialty pharmacy.
  • Life insurance, including Basic Term Life, Supplemental Term Life, Accidental Death and Personal Loss, Dependent Life Insurance and Dependent Accidental Death and Personal Loss.
  • Behavioral health
  • Health Savings Account
  • Wellness Products and Discounts, including books and DVDs, fitness, health assessment, natural products and services discounts, weight management disounts, wellness counseling, maternity program, telephone health line, Simple Steps Online, Vital Savings by Aetna, and Zagat discounts.

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Services Offered by USAble Life Health Plans

USAble Life offers group health plans through employers. These include:

  • USAble Life Connect PPO-Within the Preferred Provider Organization, service providers file claims for medical care. A member pays 20 percent of allowed cost for network services but may pay 40 percent of allowed cost for out-of-network care.
  • Pharmacy Programs
  • Value Added Services that help members get the most out of their health care plan. These include an online tracking service, medical management and subrogation. Subrogation is the process whereby an insurance company seeks reimbursement from a third party in the event of injury due to negligence or wrongdoing.
  • Case management is provided to assess and plan for health care needs of members. It is a cooperative endeavor by members, families, physicians and the insurance company.
  • Coordination of benefits with other plans helps to keep costs down.
  • Hospital bill audits ensure that charges are reasonable and necessary.
  • Utilization management checks to ensure hospital admission is needed and screens for potential risk of complications.

Factors to Consider

Choosing an insurance company is a complex task that requires considering many factors. The buyer needs to investigate cost of the policy but also probable out-of-pocket expenses. The company’s track record and ratings by third-party organizations will help to ensure good service.

It is important to find out what is covered by the policy and what is excluded. Most insurance companies cover basic medical expenses, but many will not cover certain conditions, services or prescription drugs. A thorough examination of the benefits package is necessary before the purchase is made.

Finally, when considering which insurance company is best, the consumer needs to think about his or her own situation and health. Younger individuals with few responsibilities and good health can opt for less expensive plans with a higher deductible and higher out-of-pocket maximum. Older consumers or those with chronic health problems should choose more comprehensive coverage.

Under health care reform, lifetime caps are no longer allowed. However, yearly caps may still apply until 2014, so the purchaser must investigate whether the company utilizes an annual cap on expenses.

The Right Policy for the Consumer

Careful research and planning will help consumers determine which insurance company is best for them, and which of the plans offered will best suit their needs. First write down what must be included to adequately cover both care for present conditions and possible catastrophic events. Evaluate the available rating information and read the benefits and exclusions statement for each policy being considered. Then compare the policy with the summary of needs to choose the plan that best fits the customer’s situation.

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