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How Aetna care teams helped save peoples’ lives

Three Aetna D-SNP members share how their care teams changed the course of their life and health for the better.

Hallie Levine By Hallie Levine

Health insurance can be one of those things you don’t think about much, but you’re happy it’s there when you need it. That was the case for Gary, John and Michael, all members of the Aetna® Dual Special Needs Program (D-SNP). When these three men each faced a personal health crisis, their health plan came to the rescue.

For each man, the saving grace was an Aetna personal care team. It’s something every D-SNP member has. A care team is a dedicated group of health care workers, such as nurse care managers and social workers. They work closely with other health care teams and medical team providers to make sure members get the best care and benefits for their personal needs. Read on to see the difference an Aetna D-SNP care team can make.

A simple fix helped Mary get control of her dangerously high blood sugar

When Gary enrolled in the Aetna D-SNP program, his care manager, Carey, reached out to welcome him. During that first call, Carey flagged a possibly life-threatening problem: Gary had diabetes, but his glucometer wasn’t working. Gary couldn’t check his blood sugar levels, a major step in managing diabetes.

Carey quickly ordered Gary a new glucometer. When she followed up after it arrived, Carey learned that Gary’s blood sugar was dangerously high. Over time, high levels like this can damage organs, including the heart and kidneys.1 They can also cause coma or even death. Gary was also down to his last test strip. So he bought more, only to find that they didn’t work with the new device.

Carey knew she had to act fast to keep Gary safe. She called an Aetna pharmacist to verify coverage and learned that a simple mistake was behind the problem: The local pharmacy entered the wrong code for the strips. Carey called Gary’s pharmacy to fix the error. Gary picked up his new test strips that day. He also got a refund for the strips he had to buy.

Now Gary has all the tools he needs to take care of his diabetes. Since he now closely monitors his blood sugar, his doctor has been able to change his medicine to keep his levels in a good range. Gary also has other heath conditions. So it’s even more important that he keep her diabetes under tight control. This goal is much easier to reach, thanks to Gary’s D-SNP care team.

If you need help managing a chronic illness and you’re an Aetna D-SNP member, your care team is here for you. They can help answer your questions and connect you with the right support for your needs. Learn more at


Dedication and kindness helped John find a stable home and health care

John was homeless when he began working with Carrie, his D-SNP care manager, and Jenny, his D-SNP social worker. He was just discharged from the hospital. And with no place to call home, he was having a lot of panic attacks.

This made it hard for John to focus or take care of his many health issues. He suffered from congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic renal failure and a history of substance abuse. On top of all that, he had no providers for follow-up care. And someone stole his medicine from the homeless shelter he was staying in.

Carrie and Jenny that knew to get John on the road to recovery, he needed two key things: stable housing and medical providers. Even as John moved from shelter to shelter, Carrie and Jenny kept in touch with him. They helped him set up follow-up doctor visits and gave him the emotional support he needed.

Today, John has a secure home and a primary care provider. He is up to date on all his medicines. And he keeps in close contact with his D-SNP care team to work on his health goals. As he tells Carrie and Jenny, “I don’t know where I would be if you guys didn’t help me.”

Aetna® D-SNP members can get up to a 100-day supply of medications they take regularly to maintain their health. Learn more at


A routine call became a lifeline to food and key medical supplies for Michael

Michael has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure. He had just left the hospital when he came down with COVID-19. But all of the family members he lived with had the illness too. They were isolated and alone, and Michael wasn’t getting enough to eat. He also didn’t have the medical supplies and medicine he needed to treat his conditions.

That’s when Stephanie, Michael’s D-SNP case manager, reached out. Stephanie called to talk about Michael’s transition from the hospital to his home and the resources Aetna could offer to help. As they talked, Stephanie learned that Michael needed food and vital supplies. On the list: diabetic supplies and a prescription refill. She also learned that Michael was not yet set up with his new primary care provider (PCP). This explained why the pharmacy wouldn’t refill his prescriptions.

Michael was feeling overwhelmed. So Stephanie jumped in to help. Her first step: Contact D-SNP’s meals vendor program. She quickly arranged to have meals delivered straight to Michael’s home.

Stephanie’s next call was to Michael’s primary care provider. After speaking with the PCP, Stephanie set up a telehealth visit for Michael. That online visit meant Michael could now get the medicine and supplies he needed. Thanks to Stephanie’s support, Michael was able to rest at home and focus on what was most important: healing.

Many Aetna® D-SNP members get a benefit card with a regular allowance for approved foods like produce, dairy products, meat, pantry staples and more. Learn more at


1. University of Michigan Health. Diabetes-related high and low blood sugar levels. February 2020. Accessed June 28, 2021.

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