All of us will go through the process of buying a health insurance policy at some time in our lives, but what happens if you need to cancel your current policy?
If you are currently with Aetna and want to cancel your policy, you can contact Aetna customer service or speak with your agent or HR representative. You’ll need to submit a cancellation letter to end your enrollment, and also find a new policy afterward.
Review this information carefully, as well as the terms of your current Aetna policy, to assess the requirements and time needed to end your current insurance policy.
How to Cancel Aetna Health Insurance
Contacting Aetna Directly
The simplest way (although perhaps the most time-consuming) way to cancel your current insurance plan is to contact Aetna directly. Your insurance card or your healthcare plan documents will have a general toll free number for customer service, or you can find this phone number by visiting the Aetna website.
You will need to follow the prompts on their phone system to be directed to the department that handles cancellations. You can also visit the website to work with a virtual agent in some cases.
The drawback to this approach is that customer service lines tend to have long wait times, and it can be difficult to route yourself to the correct department.
Contact Your Aetna Insurance Agent
If you purchased Aetna insurance through an insurance agent, you can also visit that agent’s offices to receive service specific to your plan.
They will likely be able to provide more timely service than by dealing with Aetna directly, and can help you understand all of the requirements for canceling your policy.
Contact Your HR Representative
If you have Aetna insurance through your employer, perhaps the best option would be to contact your HR representative to talk about how you can terminate your Aetna insurance.
They will also be able to provide the right options and paperwork necessary to change your plan, as well as other benefits your employer offers.
Reasons to Cancel Your Health Insurance
There are lots of reasons why you may choose to cancel your current Aetna health insurance plan, but here are a few of the most common.
Open Enrollment Periods
The open enrollment period is an annual period where you are legally allowed to change your healthcare coverage for any reason. Most carriers and policyholders have an open enrollment period from November 1 through January 15, although some companies may offer that option during a different time of the year.
During this time, you can renew, change, or terminate your current insurance plan without a qualifying reason. However, remember that under current law you will need to purchase some other form of health insurance instead.
Employer Changing the Sponsored Healthcare Plan
If you have insurance coverage through your employer, they may change to a new policy to cover their employees. This can be a simple cost-saving measure, or they may search for a plan that provides better benefits as an incentive for employees to stay with the company.
Whatever the reason, you may be required to cancel your Aetna insurance if you are moving to a different employer-sponsored insurance company.
Changes in Your Employment, Including Termination
With an employer’s health plan, your coverage will most likely be canceled when you leave the company.
However, your company may offer COBRA coverage or something similar, which allows you to pay the full premium out of your own pocket as a way to keep your current coverage if you need it. That being said, the costs of doing this are usually much higher than the original premium cost-sharing plan you were originally part of.
Other Life Changes
Other typical life changes that may require a change of insurance may lead to you canceling your current plan. These can include things like:
- Marriage or divorce
- Adding a depending, such as through childbirth or an adoption
- A death in the family
There are other life changes that can allow you to change your insurance outside of the typical open enrollment period. Talk to your insurance company to understand all of your options.
Graduating College Student
College students may be able to stay on their parents’ insurance while they are in school, or they may have to purchase a plan offered by their university.
However, once they graduate, they will likely have to cancel their insurance coverage and either return to their parents’ plan or purchase their own.
Changes in Cost
For some, financial barriers may keep them from retaining their current insurance provider. If this is the case, you will need to make use of the open enrollment period, or file for a change under a qualifying life event, to cancel your current insurance plan.
Changes in Insurance Needs
Changing health conditions may lead you to cancel your current coverage and choose another plan or carrier. This may happen if you develop a new condition, or need additional services not covered by your current carrier.
Again, you might be able to file for a change using a qualifying life event, or you should wait for open enrollment to make that change.
Choosing a Different Carrier
There are lots of other reasons you may choose to change your carrier, including personal preference, dissatisfaction with customer service, or inability to access a branch of their insurance office.
Whatever the case, remember the time frame when you are legally allowed to change your coverage.
What Steps to Take
Whether you contact your insurance agent, your HR contact, or Aetna directly as the provider, you will need to provide some form of a cancellation letter, or complete a form to remove your enrollment in your current plan.
What to Include in a Cancellation Letter
The cancellation letter or disenrollment form will require some personal information relative to your policy. This will include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Name(s) of you and any other insured parties under your current plan
- Current policy number
- Current coverage period, including cancelation date
- Your contact information, including a mailing address, phone number, and email address
You will need to specify when you want your current coverage to end, which may also require additional written justification for your request.
If your current policy has accounts with unused funds, you will likely need to file additional paperwork to receive reimbursements for those funds. You will also need to cancel any autopayments that may be linked to your banking accounts to prevent further charges by your former policy.
Set Up New Healthcare Coverage
As we’ve mentioned previously, healthcare coverage is required under federal law. If you decide to cancel your Aetna account, you are legally required to set up an alternative at the same time to keep you covered by a new health plan.
If you are canceling an employer-sponsored plan that is being replaced by another comparable option, your HR representative will be able to follow the necessary steps to maintain proof of coverage.
However, if you purchased your own policy or need to set up another option on your own, you will need to visit the healthcare marketplace during your open or special enrollment period to choose another option.
There are a number of healthcare plans sponsored by the federal government if you are not able to go with a private carrier.