Aetna To Offer Combined PPO/Health Savings Plan in 2002
Aetna Inc. next year will offer a insurance package that combines a preferred provider organization with a health savings account, making it the first managed care organization "to offer this type of policy on a national basis," the Florida Times-Union reports. The company announced yesterday that it will offer the Aetna HealthFund product to self-insured employers with 300 to 3,000 employees. Under the plan, employers will establish health savings accounts to cover all health care costs, including PPO deductibles. These will range from $1,500 to $3,000 annually, while the "employer-funded health savings accounts" will range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the type of arrangement negotiated by Aetna and employers. Companies will also be able to allow employees to set up flexible spending accounts on a pre-tax basis to pay for any health costs that exceed what is covered by the employer. While funds in these accounts will "roll over from year to year," those in the employer-sponsored accounts will not. According to Steven Wojcik, director of public policy for the Washington Business Group on Health, as costs rise, employers are increasingly looking to place a greater burden of health care spending on employees. "These types of products are definitely being explored. What companies have to ask themselves is 'How do the costs of people who choose that product compare to those who choose a traditional plan?'" he said (Skidmore, Florida Times-Union, 9/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.