Aetna Expands Number of Hospitals and Physicians in its Medicare Advantage Plans for Cook County Beneficiaries

CHICAGO,December 19, 2008 — Medicare beneficiaries in Cook County now have access to almost twice as many hospitals and physicians compared with last year through two types of Aetna (NYSE: AET) Medicare Advantage plan options - the Aetna Golden Medicare Plan® (HMO) and the Aetna Golden ChoiceSM Plan (PPO). 

"Aetna is extremely pleased to have added 18 hospitals and more than 1,200 physicians to the Aetna network, and more specifically, our HMO and PPO offerings for Medicare," said Nitin Bhargava, North Central Region head of sales for Aetna's Consumer Segment. "Some notable additions to our network include the University of Illinois at Chicago Health System, Resurrection Health System, Little Company of Mary Hospital and Healthcare Centers, and St. James Hospital and Health Center, among others."

In addition, Aetna is offering two HMO plans with a zero-premium option in 2009 that are available to all Medicare beneficiaries in Cook County.

Plan Features
Aetna's Individual Medicare Advantage plan options in Cook County that also include Part D prescription drug coverage feature a wide range of benefits, including:

Aetna also offers Cook County employers group Medicare plan options for their former employees. Employers who offer group Medicare plans to their former employees specifically choose what benefits are available to their retirees.

Aetna Medicare members who purchase their medical plan individually will also have access to Aetna's interactive CareEngine-powered Personal Health Record (PHR). Many group Medicare members will also be able to use this unique tool, which can help better engage Medicare members in managing their own health, make it easier for members to share health information with their physicians, and may even alert members and doctors about possible urgent situations.

Stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans
In addition, Aetna will continue to offer three Individual Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (available nationwide). These plans all offer $0 copays for many generic prescription drugs, first dollar coverage for most generic prescription drugs, and have premiums ranging from $31.30 - $103.30 for Medicare beneficiaries in Illinois.

One of the prescription drug plans available to Medicare beneficiaries in Cook County is the Aetna Medicare Rx - Costco Plus Plan. Consumers who sign up for this plan and have their prescriptions filled at Costco can save money with a preferred benefit level for many prescription drugs. They can also have their prescriptions filled at any pharmacy in  Aetna's extensive network.

The plan premium for the Aetna-Costco co-branded product for Medicare beneficiaries in Illinois (including Cook County) is $59.30. In addition, there is no deductible and benefits are included for preferred generic prescription drugs during the coverage gap phase of the plan.

Group pharmacy benefits for members enrolling through their former employer will be determined by their employer.

Additional Information
More information about Aetna's 2008 Medicare plans is available at This recently redesigned site helps individuals find and compare Aetna plans available in their geographic area. Each comparison is customized and unique, with users selecting the aspects of the plan that are most important to them, such as prescription drug coverage or their primary care physician's participation in Aetna's network. Individuals can also estimate the cost for each plan before actually applying and even enroll online, a process that can be completed in about 10 minutes.

The site also provides additional information, such as a tool that allows individuals to find scheduled Aetna Medicare informational meetings in their area; important documents such as enrollment and claim forms, as well as the Summary of Benefits for plans; and a phone number (1-800-529-5586) for additional information. Through the site, consumers can also submit a request for an Aetna Medicare specialist to schedule a call for a time that is most convenient for them.

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 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. For more information, see

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