Aetna Will Never Forget You – Or Your Old Policy Number

D. has a warning for people who are attending college after a stint in the grown-up workforce. She tells Consumerist that if you had health insurance through Aetna at your job, and your university provides student insurance through Aetna, this change will confuse Aetna’s system so thoroughly that everything you do will be billed to your old account number, forever and ever.

She explains:

Here’s one that hits grad students pretty hard. We’re forced to purchase health insurance through school if we don’t already have it; Aetna is the biggest student health insurance provider. However, if you’ve been a working adult out in the work world with a (real) Aetna insurance account number ever, Aetna will be sure to deny about half of your claims on your student health insurance (in my experience) by trying to apply your claim to your old (work) insurance that is no longer valid, and tell you its no longer valid. They refuse to remove your old (work) account from their computer systems, and continue to deny your (student) claims even though the claims are filed under a real, working insurance policy #.

They’ve done this to me now with two different student health insurance policy accounts (one policy through the school where I got my masters, and one policy through a different school where i am now getting my PhD.) Last year I had to pay $270 out of pocket for a pap smear, which is the most basic thing an insurance policy should cover for women, because they kept denying my claim, even though i had paid the (NOT CHEAP) premiums for the student insurance for the year.

Its a switcheroo tactic used only on formerly working grad students. I know several other people this has happened to with Aetna.

Maybe this number for the company’s executive relations team could help you find someone who can fix the situation. But if it’s the mysterious “system” actually causing this issue, maybe no one has power to fix it at all.