Aetna Short-Term Care Insurance Review is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews. Read our Editorial Guidelines here to learn more about our review process and to learn more about how we are compensated. Rating:
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Customizable plans
$300 daily maximum
Home care coverage
Simplified underwriting is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews. Read our Editorial Guidelines here to learn more about our review process and to learn more about how we are compensated. Rating:
4 of 5
Matthew Jones
Matthew Jones, Writer and Editor Read About Our Panel of Experts

Aetna is one of the largest health insurance carriers in the nation, with over 39 million policyholders.1 Along with more traditional health insurance plans, including supplemental insurance for dental and vision care, Aetna offers multiple short-term care (STC) plans for older adults. These STC policies offer a way to save on the cost of long-term care (LTC) insurance while still providing protection in the event of an illness or injury. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at Aetna’s STC insurance and help you decide if it’s the right option for you.


  • STC coverage for facilities and home care
  • Easy application and underwriting process
  • Optional riders for cancer care with home care plans


  • No online quotes
  • Daily maximum benefits may not cover all the care you require
  • Home care only available as a rider or distinct STC plan

Aetna Short-Term Care Insurance Plan Options

Aetna offers a variety of supplemental insurance products under the umbrella of its Protection Series lineup. Two of these plans include Recovery Care and Home Care Plus; these are both STC policies with different benefits. Both policies are available to applicants between the ages of 50 to 89. While this age range is typically much better than many LTC insurance plans, it’s not as flexible as STC insurance carriers like Guarantee Trust Life, which doesn’t institute any age restrictions on several of its STC plans.


FYI: Unsure what kind of insurance you need for retirement? Check out our guide to insurance for seniors!

There’s some confusion about Aetna’s STC insurance offerings, as the company doesn’t actively promote them as much as its other insurance products, and its plans aren’t available in many states. Aetna also provides its STC insurance plans through its subsidiary, Continental Life. Nonetheless, it’s still one of the largest providers of STC insurance.

Recovery Care

Recovery Care is Aetna’s standard plan for temporary stays in facilities. It covers all of the following types of care if you need assistance with at least two activities of daily living:

You can customize the benefit period, waiting period, and daily maximum benefits of your Recovery Care plan with the following options:

  • Benefit Period: 90, 180, 270, or 360 days (maximum lifetime benefits are double your standard benefit period)
  • Waiting Period: 0, 20, or 100 days
  • Daily Maximum Benefit: Up to $300 per day

The Recovery Care plan also offers a daily hospital indemnity, which can be used to pay for care in a hospital due to injury or illness, as well as observational hospital stays. While you have fewer options to customize the hospital indemnity benefit, this component of the Recovery Care plan has its own benefit period, daily maximum, and lifetime maximum:

  • Benefit Period: 20 days per period of care
  • Daily Maximum Benefit: Up to $300 per day
  • Lifetime Maximum: 365 days

This plan pays out benefits directly to the policyholder and the premiums don’t increase with age. You can also add a rider to get home health care coverage. This makes Recovery Care ideal for older adults who want the security of a facility-centered STC insurance plan, with the flexibility to customize a plan based on their budget and anticipated needs.

Home Care Plus

Home Care Plus is Aetna’s STC insurance plan for older adults who only want in-home care. In the event that you need temporary care, the Home Care Plus plan will cover the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Medically necessary treatments

The Home Care Plus plan also comes with the same built-in daily hospital indemnity benefit as the Recovery Care plan. To ensure coverage at home, all care must be provided by a home care practitioner or a staff member from a licensed home health care agency. Any treatment must be deemed medically necessary by your physician, and practitioner visits must take place at least three times per week for the duration of your care.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? 65 percent of older adults require some kind of home care, with care lasting for an average of two years.2

You can customize your Home Care Plus plan to choose the benefit period, waiting period, and weekly maximum benefits that work best for you:

  • Benefit Period: 13, 26, 39, or 52 weeks (maximum lifetime benefits are double your standard benefit period)
  • Waiting Period: 0 or 20 days
  • Weekly Maximum Benefit: Up to $1,200 per week

The Home Care Plus plan is generally best if you know that you want to receive treatment at home. Plus, the plan comes with built-in coverage for hospital stays and optional riders for cancer treatment, emergency room visits, and ambulance services.

Available Riders

The riders available to you will vary based on the plan you choose. If you have Aetna’s Recovery Care plan, you can add the Home Care Rider. This rider essentially combines the benefits of the Recovery Care and Home Care Plus plans, with a few minor differences. Though most of the benefits are the same, the rider only allows you to choose between benefit periods of 13, 26, or 52 weeks.

The Home Care Plus plan comes with a few unique riders that aren’t available to Recovery Care policyholders. You can add one or both of the following Home Care Plus riders:

  • Lump Sum Fixed Cancer Indemnity Rider: This rider pays you a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You can choose between lump sum benefits of $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000. The lump sum can only be issued for one cancer diagnosis in your lifetime.
  • Hospital Emergency Room Visit and Ambulance Service Indemnity Rider: This rider pays a benefit of up to $200, twice per year, for emergency room visits or ambulance services. There’s no lifetime maximum, so you can continue benefiting from this rider for the duration of your policy.

Aetna Short-Term Care Insurance Cost

Aetna doesn’t offer online quotes or estimates for its STC plans. This is common among short- and LTC carriers. For example, Lincoln Financial and Brighthouse Financial don’t offer online quotes for their LTC plans, either.

Pro Tip:

Pro Tip: Considering a long-term care plan? Check out our guide to the best long-term care insurance plans for seniors!

However, considering that Aetna and Continental Life allow you to customize your plan and even choose very high waiting periods in some cases (up to 100 days with the Recovery Care plan), it’s likely that you can greatly reduce the cost of your plan based on the benefits you choose. Still, it would be useful to have more pricing transparency when choosing an Aetna STC plan. On average, a 65-year-old can expect to pay somewhere between $63 and $125 per month for a STC insurance plan, but Aetna’s plans may or may not fall within this range.3


Aetna’s underwriting process is fast and flexible. You simply need to answer 21 yes or no questions during the application process. You don’t have to undergo a phone interview, which is often the standard for STC insurance carriers like ManhattanLife. Aetna also offers greater flexibility for preexisting conditions, though policies won’t begin covering care for preexisting conditions until the policy has been active for at least six months.

Aetna Customer Satisfaction

Aetna is generally considered a financially strong and dependable insurance carrier. However, its customer satisfaction is mixed, as it receives some complaints and negative online reviews. Here are a few ratings to consider from the most relevant agencies:

  • A.M. Best: A (excellent financial strength)
  • Standard & Poor’s (S&P): BBB (stable credit)
  • Fitch: A (low risk of default)
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC): 1.36 (more complaints than average)
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): A+ (high trustworthiness and performance)

Aetna performs very well financially, but it receives more complaints than some similarly-sized businesses. While Aetna has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, it has a BBB customer rating of just 1.1 out of 5. This is far lower than insurance carriers like ManhattanLife, which maintains a customer rating of 3.75 out of 5.

Final Thoughts

Aetna is a large and dependable insurance carrier, which makes it a good all-around choice for older adults who need STC insurance. It offers two distinct plans that cater to different needs. The Recovery Care plan is better for those who want coverage for facility care, while the Home Care Plus plan is better for seniors who prefer in-home care. While Aetna offers many ways to customize its STC plans, the company has limited pricing transparency and receives some negative customer reviews. Still, if you’re looking for an STC plan, Aetna is worth considering.

Our Methodology

When evaluating the quality of STC carriers, we focus on the benefits a carrier or plan offers. We research pricing, coverage, optional offerings, and long-term value. Ultimately, an STC insurance policy should help reduce financial stress if you require care in the future, with a lower premium and shorter waiting period than an LTC insurance plan. If a plan offers solid coverage at a fair price, we believe it’s a good option.

Frequently Asked Questions About Aetna

  1. Aetna. (2023). Aetna Facts.

  2. Administration for Communal Living. (2020, Feb 18). How Much Care Will You Need?

  3. American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. (2022). Short Term Care Information.

Written By

Matthew Jones

Writer and Editor

Matthew is a freelance writer who has written on a wide range of topics, from personal finance to nutrition. Over the past three years, Matthew has worked extensively on articles and guides for seniors related to Medicare, insurance, and finance…. Learn More About Matthew Jones