By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you have an individual health plan with Aetna, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The company will be mailing rebate checks to customers in Pennsylvania. It’s part of the Affordable Care Act.

The health care reform law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums directly on paying for health care or improving the quality of care. Anything they collect outside of that has to go back to customers.

Aetna spokesman Walt Cherniak says the company tries to price its policies accordingly, but costs are unpredictable and so some of its customers in the region will be getting checks in early August.

“We would prefer to avoid rebates if we could.”

Statewide, 11 companies will rebate a total $5 million dollars to 90,000 customers.

Forty-two-thousand New Jersey customers will get $3 million back from three insurers. Nationally, three million customers will recover $330 million.

Payments average about $80 dollars per customer.

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