Question: I have been receiving mail under Prisma Health’s brand promoting the Aetna Medicare products. Why would the hospital system promote one health plan over others? Do they aim to restrict Medicare patients’ choices of health plans?
Answer: The letter from Prisma Health, sent to the reader's home, announces the hospital system's status as the "top tier health care provider in the new Medicare Advantage plan- Aetna Medicare Prime Plan."
The letter also says in that "Through the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan, Prisma Health's South Carolina physician practices can offer a more personalized experience."
It later says, "The 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 - December 7, and you may wonder: which plan is right for me? How do I compare coverage and costs? Can I keep my doctors if I change plans."
The letter includes an offer to help anyone wanting to discuss their options with an Aetna Medicare representative. At the bottom of the page is this disclaimer: "Prisma Health also accepts other Medicare Advantage Plans."
Prisma, through its spokesperson Sandy Dees, said the following via email:
"Prisma Health’s top priority is to provide the affordable access and high-quality care that our patients expect and deserve. We have agreements with most major insurance companies. Aetna is one of these.
"Prisma Health accepts a number of insurance plans, and the list is readily available on our website. Patients who are interested in exploring other options can view our website at www.PrismaHealth.org/Insurance or can reach out to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at www.CMS.gov or their employer for more information."
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This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Greenville News reader questions Prisma's promotion of a health plan