Aetna Offering End-of-Life Benefits Package

April 30, 2004 ( - Aetna is rolling out a new end-of-life benefit package offering expanded benefits, nurse case management and information to help members and their families cope more effectively with the trying time.

Aetna’s Compassionate Care program provides broadened coverage for hospice and palliative services and provides coverage for curative care while in hospice. Additionally, the program provides coverage for respite care and bereavement care services, according to a news release.

In addition, the program offers tools and information to encourage advance planning for the kind of issues often associated with end-of-life care.

Rolling the program out, Aetna said Compassionate Care will first be offered to several large plan sponsors representing more than 400,000 members beginning in January 2005.   The Hartford-based company will then work closely with these customers to study the program’s effectiveness, costs, clinical outcomes and communications challenges, and will use the experience to support evidence-based decisions on how to improve the program and broaden its availability in the future.

More information on the program is available at   The Web site features general information on end-of-life and palliative care issues, advance planning tools, discussion tips to facilitate conversations, advance directives forms and living wills.