Aetna Medicare Part D Review

Licensed Insurance Agent and Medicare Expert Writer
December 11, 2019

Preferred Pharmacies:

  • CVS
  • Safeway/Albertsons
  • Kroger
  • Costco
Update

12/11/19: Aetna sold its Part D plans to WellCare as part of the CVS acquisition agreement. However, for 2020, Aetna is advertising and selling Part D plans from SilverScript—a CVS Health company. We are gathering information to update and rewrite the content below to reflect these changes.

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With prescription drug plans offered in all 50 states plus DC, Aetna has a broad reach for Original Medicare enrollees needing drug benefits. Medicare Star Rating gives Aetna's Part D plans an average star rating of 3.4 out of 5.1 Aetna’s prescription drug plans (PDPs) come in three flavors with differences in premiums and coverage, which we’ll discuss in detail below.

NOTE: As a contingency for the Aetna/CVS merger to continue, Aetna was required to sell its Part D program, which WellCare purchased. For 2019, Aetna has promised not to change its Part D “benefits, networks, formularies, or premiums.”2 But starting in 2020, all of Aetna’s plans will officially be under WellCare—be sure to check WellCare’s Part D review for updates.

Who might want an Aetna Part D plan?

  • People who mostly take generic drugs: The most anyone pays for a generic drug is $2 (or $3 for home delivery) under any Aetna plan.3
  • CVS customers: Every CVS pharmacy in the country is in Aetna’s preferred network.
  • Home delivery fans: Aetna offers home delivery in some of its plans, so you may not have to go to a physical pharmacy to get your medications.
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Aetna Part D sample plans

Aetna Medicare Rx® Select (PDP)
Aetna Medicare Rx® Saver (PDP)
Aetna Medicare Rx® Value Plus (PDP)

Location

Seal Beach, CA 90740

Seal Beach, CA 90740

Seal Beach, CA 90740

Medicare Star Rating

3/5

3/5

3/5

Monthly premium

$19.10

$32.40

$58.70

Deductible**

$365

$310

$0

Tier 1 (preferred generics)

$0

$1

$1

Tier 2 (generic drugs)

$2

$2

$2

Tier 3 (preferred brand drugs)

$47

$30

$47

Tier 4 (non-preferred brand drugs)

40%

35%

48%

Tier 5 (specialty drugs)

25%

27%

33%

Sample plan #

S5810-295

S5810-066

S5768-155

Input your drugs into Aetna’s drug formulary to find out which tiers they fall into.

Aetna Medicare Rx® Select (PDP)

Out of the other two PDP plans from Aetna, the Rx Select plan has the lowest premiums. However, it also has the highest deductible ($365) for any drugs on Tiers 3 through 5. Along with $0 Tier 1 drugs from preferred pharmacies, this Part D plan also offers $0 Tier 1 drugs through home delivery. It also provides gap coverage (in other words, no donut hole!) for Tiers 1 and 2.

This plan could be a viable option for any beneficiary who wants drug coverage but doesn’t take a lot of brand-name prescriptions, as it offers adequate Tier 1 and 2 coverage with no deductible. If you rely more on brand-name preferred (Tier 3) or non-preferred (Tier 4) drugs, however, you may save more money if you go with one of Aetna's other two plans.

Aetna Medicare Rx® Saver (PDP)

For typically higher premiums than the Rx Select plan, the Aetna Medicare Rx Saver plan offers the best coverage for Tier 3 (preferred brand) drugs out of all three plans—in our sample, that is; your mileage may vary. It also gives slightly better coverage than the Rx Select plan for Tier 5 (specialty) drugs.

This plan could work for people who need generic drugs, but also a few brand name drugs that are on the preferred tier on Aetna’s formulary—although you must meet the deductible before coverage kicks in for anything Tier 3 (preferred brand drugs) and below.

Aetna Medicare Rx® Value Plus (PDP)

Although Aetna's Medicare Rx Value Plus plan typically has the highest monthly deductible, it provides the best coverage of all three plans for a wider range of drugs. This coverage is especially evident in Tiers 4 and 5, covering a more significant percentage of the medication's cost.

The Value Plus plan might be viable for those who need any drug that’s not on Aetna’s preferred list or someone who relies on specialty drugs.

Bottom Line: Nationwide coverage and plenty of options

Regardless of where you are in the country, Aetna's vast network provides accessible Part D benefits for enrollees in Original Medicare. Whether you take a few generic prescriptions or expensive specialty medications, one of Aetna’s plans could help reduce your drug costs—even with its mail order option.

Is an Aetna Part D plan right for you? Call a licensed agent to get a quote.

Want to learn more?

Aetna’s policies go far beyond Part D; they also sell Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans, another way to get Medicare benefits and drug coverage bundled into one package. Or, if you’re set on Original Medicare, Aetna offers Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans to boost coverage for your medical costs.


Sources

1. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Part C and D Performance Data
2. Aetna News, “Aetna Agrees to Sell All Standalone Medicare Part D Business
3. Aetna Medicare Solutions, “Medicare Part D Plans at a Glance

Content on this site has not been reviewed or endorsed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the United States Government, any state Medicare agency, or any private insurance agency (collectively "Medicare System Providers"). Eligibility.com is a DBA of Clear Link Technologies, LLC and is not affiliated with any Medicare System Providers.

Written by
Alex Enabnit
Medicare and geriatric care expert, Alex has one motivation behind every word he writes, and that’s finding you the best medical coverage for your situation. Alex has been featured on Bloomer Boomer, Best Company, HealthPopuli.com, the Daily Ledger on the One America News Network, WBAP News radio, and more. Outside of work, you can find him hiking with his wife and pup or (occasionally) going to the gym.
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