New Aetna rates ‘not affordable’—Propst


The new premium rates that plan holders have to pay Aetna Global are not affordable to most government employees, Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) said.

The government recently said it has renewed the Aetna Global agreement but will invite other proposals for 2016.

Propst said with the increased payments, even the “low-cost” option seems too high for most.

“As a family, we are currently paying about $400 every pay period for the high option plan with a $1,500 deductible. Now we will be paying $821 per pay period, or $21,346 per year (26 pay periods x $821),” Propst said. “If we switch to the low option plan, it will cost us $485.65 per pay period, or $12,626.90 per year (26 pay periods x $485.65).”

The lawmaker said it will be difficult for most to get the new packages.

“How many families out there will be able to afford the high-option plan, let alone the low-option plan? I know we cannot,” Propst said.

The lawmaker stressed that by raising their premiums to an amount that is not affordable to most, Aetna has created what is known in the health insurance industry as a “death spiral,” a term that refers to lower risk health insurance policy holders changing their coverage or choosing to become uninsured.

He warns that by Aetna doubling its premiums, “most healthy, young families are going to cancel their health coverage.”

“And who is most likely to stay and try to pay these insanely high premiums? Our man’amko. Our retirees. Why? Because they don’t have much of a choice. Our elderly retirees tend to have more health problems, thereby costing Aetna more money,” Propst said.

Aetna needs the younger, healthier families to help defray the high cost of health care for our elderly, he said. “But obviously, this is not going to happen, because the young and healthy members will simply cancel their coverage and risk not having any health care at all.”

“When you are young and healthy, you don’t think about the ‘what ifs.’ You think about the ‘here and now.’ And right here and now, Aetna’s new health premiums are just not affordable,” Propst said.

The lawmaker said “Aetna is only concerned with profit, not about our well-being,” and that the bottom line is, the new Aetna rates will have a devastating effect on most families.”

The Aetna insurance is not mandatory for government employees.

Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at

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