Aetna uses encryption to safeguard data
Protecting the privacy and security of sensitive information is one of our highest priorities. Accordingly, Aetna encrypts all Internet emails that contain member-specific health and financial information -- examples include, but aren't limited to, personal and demographic information (e.g., name, SSN, address), employment information, information about payment of benefits, provider information, diagnostic or treatment information, claims status information and information related to behavioral health and/or sexually transmitted disease services.
Use of encrypted email enables us to send quick, reliable communications while maintaining our commitment to protecting the confidentiality of member-specific information.
Encrypted email is scrambled by the sender's email program, which renders it unreadable until it is descrambled or "decrypted" by the recipient. Unencrypted email is similar to a postcard — the message can be viewed by anyone who picks it up. Encrypted email is similar to a sealed letter — the content cannot be viewed until the envelope is opened — except, in this case, the envelope has a lock on it to which only the recipient has a key!
Whenever Aetna transmits member-specific health or financial information via Internet email, the email includes a message indicating that the content has been secured via encryption.
Encrypted emails from Aetna include instructions on how to decrypt the message for viewing - this requires the recipient to perform a few simple clicks.
Anyone who receives an encrypted email from Aetna is able to send an encrypted reply.
Third party messages that are sent to Aetna via the "Contact Us" feature on Aetna.com are also encrypted.
Aetna has strict procedures in place for determining if a third party can receive member health and financial information i.e., Aetna employees are required to verify whether a requestor is authorized to receive the information before it is released.
Each encrypted email from Aetna includes instructions on how to open the message and view the secure content. In the event a recipient receives an error message while in the process of trying to open an Aetna-generated encrypted email, the error message provides guidance for troubleshooting the problem. In addition, the error message includes the following contact information:
If you experience any problems, please call 1-800-237-7476 and choose option 4 (Secure Email) during normal business hours, 8 AM to 6 PM ET.