Changes on the way after Aetna website confusion - WNCN: News, Weather

Changes on the way after Aetna website confusion

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Insurance carrier Aetna plans to make some changes to its website to make it clearer for consumers who chose plans from the federal insurance marketplace, a spokesman told News Channel 8.

The changes were prompted by the experience of a Largo resident that were brought to Aetna's attention by News Channel 8.

Darlene Handy chose a new Aetna plan from the health insurance marketplace, believing her family doctor and Morton Plant Hospital were part of the network. After a visit to her doctor's office, she learned they were not included.

Handy and her insurance agent – who said he had eight others in a similar situation – said they believed the provider list changed after Handy and others signed up.

But, an Aetna spokesman says the provider list never changed and they may have just been looking at the wrong list on the Aetna website.

The carrier created a special "landing page" for marketplace (also known as exchange) plan customers, said Aetna spokesman Walter Cherniak. But, those who just clicked on the "find a doctor" tab to search may have ended up not specifying they were searching for a marketplace, or exchange, plan and viewed a larger Aetna network, not the narrower marketplace network, he said.

After hearing from Handy, Aetna plans to make changes to the website.

"We're working to label it even more clearly," Cherniak said.

With a little more than seven weeks before the deadline for individuals to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the rollout of the law and some of the tools that came with it appear to still be a work in progress.

Handy's agent David Andre of Florida West Insurance said he also ran into trouble on healthcare.gov in connection to Handy's application.

While still in the open enrollment period, Andre said he had trouble using buttons on the healthcare.gov site to make changes to her plan after she realized the network was not what she initially thought. Those buttons weren't functioning earlier this month, but worked this week, allowing him to switch Handy to a new plan, he said.

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