Unfortunately, too often 'stuff happens' to people in this age group, and they face huge financial liabilities from unexpected health events like accidents, illnesses or diseases.
To address this issue, Aetna (NYSE: AET ) announced today that it has begun selling new Aetna BodyGuard Plans to individuals, with rates starting at only $40 per month. Three easy-to-understand products, which will become effective on August 1, were designed with young adults in mind and are available online at www.AetnaBodyGuard.com.
They will initially be offered in Illinois, with plans to expand their availability to additional states in the future. Advertising and promotions for the BodyGuard plans begin in the Chicagoland area this month, including a major sponsorship of the Chicago Sport & Social Club, a networking organization with more than 70,000 participants that focuses on connecting active young adults in the Chicago area.
"Young adults have very different priorities than most other individuals when it comes to health insurance, and we developed the Aetna BodyGuard plans to try to meet those unique needs," said Frank McCauley, head of Aetna's Consumer Business Segment. "We think these plans offer affordable choices for individuals who usually have a number of competing financial interests, and will also give these individuals a much-needed safeguard for their health and financial well-being."
Finding the Right Plan
Within the uninsured young adult population, there is a wide range of preferences for health insurance. This is why Aetna created three different BodyGuard plans - Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.
These plans offer varying premiums and levels of coverage and give individuals the opportunity to find the plan that best suits their particular situation. Despite the low cost, these are not limited-benefits plans. Instead, the plans focus on the type of coverage that young adults are most likely to use, helping to keep the premiums low.
For example, the prescription drug sections of the Basic and Intermediate plans provide coverage only for generic prescription drugs. This eliminates one of the plan elements that often increases the overall premium cost. However, since this is an active group that is sometimes prone to accidents, Aetna has increased the Emergency Care benefit from its standard Individual plans.
In addition to the health insurance plans, individuals also have the option of adding a Dental plan for $14 a month.
Young adults can find out more about these plans and view a side-by-side comparison at www.AetnaBodyGuard.com, where they can also receive price quotes and apply online. This website also contains a new tool that allows users to select their personal preferences on different aspects of a health insurance plan, such as prescription drug coverage, out-of-pocket costs and how frequently they will use medical services, among others. The tool then helps identify which BodyGuard plan is the best fit.
"We want to make the process of applying for individual health insurance as simple and convenient as possible, and for young adults, that means being able to go through the whole process online," McCauley said.
All three plans provide access to health care providers in Aetna's extensive national network, as well as a number of other valuable tools and resources, including:
Health Benefits Basics
In many instances, young adults are dealing with health insurance on their own for the first time. In addition to containing specific information on the BodyGuard plans, the new website also includes several sections that can help individuals improve their general knowledge of health insurance:
Over the past few years, Aetna has made numerous efforts to help educate all consumers, and not just Aetna members, on how to better understand and use their health benefits. This includes Plan for Your Health (www.planforyourhealth.com), a public education campaign from Aetna and the Financial Planning Association that provides consumers with information to help them make health benefits and financial choices; the Navigating Your Health Benefits For Dummies® guide, which assists readers through every step of their health benefits cycle; and All About The Benefits (www.allaboutthebenefits.com ), a website designed specifically to help inform young adults about health benefits.
"In addition to providing the right products and services, we think it is incredibly important to educate young adults on the basics of health insurance, and why it is important for them to have health insurance," McCauley said. "The BodyGuard website and our other resources will truly help young adults better understand the importance and value of health benefits."
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. www.aetna.com
1 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2006 and 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplements. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/hlthins/hlthin06/p60no233_table6.pdf. Accessed July 28, 2008