Aetna Responds to Employers Shifting Attitude On High-Deductible Health Plans

During open enrollment for 2020 health insurance coverage, some employers were offering traditional plans alongside or instead of high-deductible health plans.

Employers thought that offering a more generous plan with a decreased deductible may be a recruitment advantage. Also, traditional plans offer more predictable out-of-pocket costs to employees.

CVS Health’s Aetna recently launched two new plan benefit designs aimed to address employers shifting attitudes to high-deductible health plans.

CVS Health’s (CVS) strategy is bringing a more personalized, integrated, cost-effective and holistic health care approach that is conveniently accessible. The company has been spending the last 18 months or so developing, piloting and rolling out new innovative capabilities that are intended to support an integrated offering to its medical and pharmacy customers or potentially new customers.

Aetna’s new designs, called Upfront Advantage and Flexible Five, offer members coverage for some preventive services before they meet deductibles. In Upfront Advantage, members will have access to services worth up to $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a family for free before their deductible is met. 

The goal in the new designs is to push high-deductible health plan members to seek out routine and preventive care that they need and may be avoiding due to cost, while also avoiding a massive hike in costs for the plan sponsor.

Aetna developed its new plan designs with feedback from several of its national large employer clients, and that interest has been high from, for example, retail companies with distribution centers and store associates, or large manufacturers. 


Takeaway: CVS Health’s innovation strategy includes developing new benefit designs through Aetna