updated 8/6/2004 7:22:36 PM ET 2004-08-06T23:22:36

Navigating the health care system can be daunting, especially when someone is ill or in need of health care services.  At Aetna, we think it’s important to provide information, tools and resources that help our members understand not only how their health insurance plan works, but how to maximize their health care coverage and make informed decisions about the health care they receive.

Many consumers want more information on the health insurance benefits they select, but don’t often know where to find it.  For employees with health insurance coverage through their employer, it’s important to know what to look for in health insurance and other coverage, such as Long Term Care and Disability insurance.

If your employer gives you a choice of health insurance plans, there are different kinds of tools that can help you select the insurance that is right for you and your family, as well as help you maximize your health insurance coverage once you’re a member.  Consider checking into the kinds of tools the health plan offers to compare coverage and financing options.  Also look into the kinds of tools and services the insurance plan offers to help members track health care expenses, compare the quality of hospitals and health care professionals, and understand the costs of care. 

You should also make certain you understand the kinds of services that are covered, as well as those that are excluded, under the benefit plan you have selected. For more than 50 years, the trend in health insurance has been toward expanding the scope of services that are covered.  However, all insurance plans – both public and private – include some form of limits.  In this regard, health insurance is no different than any other type of insurance a consumer may have, such as homeowner’s or auto insurance.

Since health plans differ, you should carefully review plan materials, ask for certificates of coverage as well as for any particular exclusions under the plans.  Aetna offers this information through member materials, our member-focused customer service lines, and our website. 

In addition, many health insurance plans provide access to programs such as nurse hotlines, where members can ask questions of nurses 24-hours per day, seven days per week.  In some cases, health plan nurses can be instrumental in linking members with services in the community – such as Meals on Wheels, medical equipment, etc. – that may not be covered under their health plan.

At Aetna, we believe people want to know more about their benefits and available options.  And we’re taking every opportunity to provide more information and resources to members to make their decision-making easier and more comfortable.  For more information, please visit www.aetna.com.

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