State awards contract to Aetna for health plan using Christiana Care program

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The state of Delaware has awarded Aetna a three-year contract to provide an HMO option and a “consumer-directed health plan” to state employees, pensioners and their dependents. The contract takes effect July 1.

State employees and pensioners can select an Aetna HMO plan linked to Carelink CareNow, a care coordination service powered by Christiana Care Health System, the state’s largest health care provider.

Aetna also will administer a consumer-directed Gold plan for state employees and pensioners that includes a health reimbursement account (HRA) that will help pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses.

“We are delighted to be selected once again to provide health benefits to the state of Delaware employees, pensioners and their families,” said Remy Richman, executive director of Aetna’s Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware operations. “Our goal is to improve the health and well-being of state employees and their families with two plan options that will provide access to high-quality providers, along with the tools and resources for members to make more informed health care decisions.”

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“Carelink CareNow doctors, pharmacists, nurses, respiratory therapists and social workers will partner with state employees and their doctors to help coordinate medical care and answer questions about medical conditions, medications or lab tests,” said Tabassum Salam, medical director of Carelink CareNow. “The team will help connect employees with necessary community resources and provide them with tools, knowledge and support they need to keep track of their progress and reach their health goals.”

Aetna has provided medical plan options to Delaware employees and pensioners since 2007.

State employee health care costs remain a hot topic, with efforts under way to control rising costs. A plan last year to modestly increase out-of-pocket costs for state employees went nowhere in the General Assembly.

The state government is now the largest employer in Delaware.

Aetna provides health benefits to approximately 120,000 people in Delaware. Its membersuse anetwork that consists of 2,600 primary care physicians and specialists.

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