Aetna Life Insurance Review (Accendo and Protection Series)

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Who is Aetna Life Insurance Company?

So, how long has Aetna been in business? Based in Hartford, CT, Aetna is one of the longest-standing and most trusted insurance carriers in the U.S., having sold insurance products for over 150 years.

Aetna was recently acquired by CVS Health, combining two major U.S. brands and making Aetna/CVS the only burial insurance company with two separate final expense products.

We will review these two products in detail in the following two sections.

Aetna Final Expense Life Insurance (Accendo Series)

Is Accendo part of Aetna?

Yes — Aetna’s Accendo product is issued by Accendo Life Insurance Company.

Aetna Life Insurance Plan Types

This product has three plans corresponding to different risk groups:

  • Preferred Level Death Benefit Plan
  • Standard Level Death Benefit Plan
  • Modified Death Benefit Plan

The first two of these final expense plans provide immediate coverage. This means that no matter when the insured passes, you can be sure to have your death benefit paid.

On the other hand, the Aetna waiting period with the Modified Benefit Plan for deaths from natural causes is two years. Accidental deaths, however, are always covered 100%.

How does Aetna decide which final expense plan to put you on? Like most final expense life insurance policies, Aetna whole life insurance does not require a medical exam. Instead, your plan type is determined by a set of “yes/no” health questions on the application and a prescription drug check.

Age & State Eligibility

Another notable feature is the Aetna senior eligibility. Aetna’s Preferred and Standard plans are available to people between the ages of 40 and 89; the Modified plan, on the other hand, is available only up to 75.

Geographically, the product has a broad reach as well. It is available in all U.S. states except New York.

Aetna Funeral Insurance Coverage Amounts

Regarding the Aetna life insurance policy payout, the minimum benefit you can purchase is $2,000, while the maximum benefit is $50,000. Note that the maximum death benefit depends on your age, as shown in the table below:

Table: Final Expense Life Insurance Coverage Range by Age

40-55: $2,000 – $50,000

56-65: $2,000 – $40,000

66-75: $2,000 – $30,000

76-89: $2,000 – $25,000

The Modified Plan is available with coverage amounts ranging from $2,000 to $25,000. And because people on this plan are higher-risk, the plan has a two-year waiting period. During the first 24 months, the death benefit payout (for non-accidental deaths) equals premiums paid plus 10%. After 24 months, you will be eligible for the full death benefit payout.  

However, accidental deaths during the first 24 months are paid out at 100% of your policy’s face value.

An additional feature of this policy is cash value. As you pay into your policy over time, a portion of your premiums is allocated to your cash value account, which functions like a savings account. You can borrow against your cash value whenever you’d like, for any purpose (e.g., for urgent expenses). 

Finally, every Aetna final expense policy has a feature that protects you if you can no longer make your life insurance payments. You can select three options for this “nonforfeiture” feature:

  • Reduced paid-up insurance – with this option, Aetna looks at how big of a death benefit you could have bought with the cash value in your policy so far and then issues you a smaller permanent coverage policy with that face amount. 
  • Extended term insurance policy – while the first option kept the term the same (you were covered for your whole life), this second option keeps your death benefit the same but does not cover you for as long (i.e., it converts your it to term life insurance coverage)
  • Automatic premium loan – in this final option, if you have yet to make a payment by the end of the grace period, Aetna automatically withdraws cash from your cash value account and uses it to pay your premiums.

Check Out: AAA Life Insurance Review: Coverage and Services

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Aetna Policy Riders 

The next section of this Aetna burial insurance review will review the available riders for the Accendo Aetna product. As a reminder, a rider is basically “add-on” coverage that can supplement your base coverage. 

The Modified plan does not include any riders, while the Preferred and Standard Level Plans offer the three riders below:

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
  • Accidental Death Benefits Rider
  • Children’s Insurance Rider

Adding riders to your policy is a great way to get additional protection for you and your loved ones and can often cost very little.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

Accelerated death benefit riders (also known as “living benefit” riders) are an underrated burial insurance benefit.

An accelerated death benefit rider is free for all Standard and Preferred plans and covers you if you become terminally ill.

Specifically, if a physician provides a written certification showing your life expectancy is expected to be 12 months or less due to a medical condition, you can receive up to 50% of the death benefit. The maximum amount is $15,000 ($1,000 minimum). 

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

This rider doubles your death benefit if your death occurs from an accident. For example, if your policy’s face value is $10,000 and your death is accidental, Aetna will pay your beneficiary $20,000. The Aetna age limit for this rider is 40 to 70.

Children’s Term Insurance Rider

Aetna’s Children’s Term Insurance Rider allows you to buy additional protection for your child, grandchild, adopted child or grandchild, or even a stepchild.

Coverage amounts range from $2,500 to $10,000 per child. The child must be at least 30 days to maximum 18 years old. The Aetna child coverage age limit is 25 and they can convert their policy to a whole life policy starting at the age of 22.

Aetna Final Expense Whole Insurance (Protection Series)

As mentioned above, Aetna is the only carrier with two separate burial insurance products. Since they are similar, we will only review the differences between the Aetna Accendo life insurance and Protection Series products in this section.

There are five key differences:

  1. The minimum age is 45 years old (vs. 40 for Accendo)
  2. The Protection Series product is not available in 10 states (AK, CA, DC, MA, ME, MN, ND, NY, SD, WA)
  3. The most significant difference is that Protection Series final expense insurance comes in only one plan (Preferred). This means there is no option for medium-to-high-risk individuals, even those with as common a condition as diabetes with insulin use.
  4. There is no accelerated death benefits rider.

Buying Aetna Final Expense Coverage: What To Expect

Aetna Final Expense Application

Aetna does not sell burial insurance directly. To buy an Aetna policy, you must contact a licensed life insurance agent and fill out an application over the phone (or in person).

The application includes personal information, beneficiary information, health questions, and payment information. Again, there is no medical exam with either product.

To make an underwriting decision, Aetna uses the following:

  • A report from the MIB (Medical Information Bureau), which covers your life insurance application history
  • Your prescription drug history (note that this includes all drugs that were prescribed to you, even if you did not fill them at your pharmacy)

The process takes about 20 minutes to complete from start to finish.

What to Expect After Submission

After applying, you will get an approval decision instantly. If you want your coverage to begin as soon as possible, make sure to have your first payment drafted as soon as your application is approved.

Aetna accepts EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) payments (in other words, bank drafts), so you will need to have your account number and routing number available at the time of application.

Note that Aetna offers “true” Social Security billing so that you can have your monthly payment dedicated on a specific week and weekday of the month (e.g., the third Wednesday of the month) to match your Social Security deposits.

Once your policy is issued, you will have 30 days to decide if you would like to keep your policy; if not, you can cancel and receive a full refund of your first payment.

Pros and Cons of Aetna Final Expense Insurance

Advantages of Aetna Life Insurance

  • Broad eligibility: Aetna’s final expense whole life insurance covers a broad demographic. They cover individuals as young as 40 and as old as 89 from all U.S. states except New York (for their Accendo final expense product, sold in partnership with CVS Health). On the other hand, most of its competitors cover up to ages 80-85 only
  • Multiple immediate coverage plans: Unlike other burial insurance companies, Aetna has two immediate coverage plans, which allows for more accurate pricing (customers with fewer health issues can get a lower price, and high risk burial insurance customers can get a higher price while both getting immediate coverage)
  • Trusted brand name: Aetna has been selling insurance since 1853 and is a highly-trusted brand in the insurance industry. Moreover, it has recently partnered with CVS life insurance to sell another significant brand name
  • No phone interview: While carriers like Prosperity Life, Foresters Financial, and Liberty Bankers require a personal health interview with an underwriter, Aetna insurance applications can be done entirely over the phone with a licensed life insurance agent
  • Social security billing:
  • No-signature option: Aetna is one of only two burial insurance companies allowing you to submit an application without e-signing (or voice signing) your application. Instead, Aetna allows you to choose a security question as your signature.

Disadvantages of Aetna Life Insurance

  • Limited coverage range for ages 66+: While you can get an Aetna final expense policy with a maximum payout of $50,000 at younger ages, that drops to $30,000 for those 66-75 and $25,000 for those 76-85
  • Weaker Protection Series product: As mentioned above, Aetna’s final expense whole life insurance coverage is available in two separate products — “Protection Series” and “Accendo.” The Protection Series version is the weaker of the two, given its limited state eligibility (it is not offered in 10 states) and its tighter underwriting around common health conditions like diabetes (with insulin use)

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Aetna Frequently Asked Questions

Is Aetna good life insurance?

Aetna is one of the most trusted burial insurance companies in the U.S., having sold insurance since 1853. Aetna Senior Products comprises two issuing companies — Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, TN, and Accendo Insurance Company — both of which are rated “A” by A.M. Best.

Does Aetna have whole life insurance?

Aetna Accendo and Protection Series are whole life insurance products. Whole life is designed to last your entire life. With permanent life insurance, you are guaranteed to receive the full death benefit at some point.

What is a final expense life insurance policy?

Final expense insurance is just whole life insurance by another name. The difference is that burial insurance companies provide a death benefit payout of between $1K and $50K. Because of the smaller payouts, it is often used to cover end-of-life expenses such as funeral expenses and unpaid medical bills. And because it is a simplified issue whole life insurance policy, there are no medical exams!

Final Thoughts on Aetna Life Insurance

Is Aetna a good insurance company, then?

Aetna’s final expense insurance has more positives than negatives. Aetna is a great choice if you’re looking for essential coverage at a reasonable rate, as there will be greater underwriting flexibility.

The application process is easy, and, with some help from Aetna Accendo customer service, you can do this all over the phone from the comfort of your home. Remember that Aetna’s Accendo life insurance accepts a broader range of health conditions for its immediate coverage plans.

If you’re looking for a straightforward application process and an insurance company with a strong foundation, the Aetna Accendo and Protection Series products should be a strong fit.