Aetna has announced its new solution for employers who provide retiree health benefits on a national basis, called the Aetna Medicare Open Plan.

The new plan provides national coverage for retirees and expands Aetna Medicare product offerings in service areas not already covered by Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans. The plan will be available to employers for January 2007, pending approval by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Aetna Medicare Open Plan is a private fee-for-service Medicare Advantage plan. This means Medicare-eligible retirees who join a group plan may go to any licensed doctor or hospital that participates in Medicare and is willing to accept Aetna’s guidelines and terms for payment.

The Aetna Medicare Open Plan can be paired with Aetna’s national Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, and can cover additional benefits such as eyeglass reimbursement and hearing aid reimbursement.

The plan offers flexibility. An employer can reflect many of the design features that exist in the Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans. Additionally Aetna will offer indemnity style design features, so employers can provide all of their retirees with the same member benefits and the same carrier nationwide.

Aetna Medicare Open Plan members will have the same Medicare customer service and medical management expertise already available in Aetna’s other Medicare plans. This includes dedicated case management for older adults, a health risk assessment conducted by telephone upon enrollment, toll-free 24/7 access to registered nurses, and Aetna’s MedQuery program that reviews member information to look for opportunities to improve care.