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Aetna to improve wages and medical benefits for thousands of its employees

Feb 20 2015
This post was originally published on January 12, 2015.

  • Health care is becoming a consumer industry. We are making an investment in the future of health care service. ~ Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini

On Monday, January 12, 2015 Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini announced two new programs for Aetna employees that will increase the financial security for thousands of workers by improving wages and health care benefits.

Wage Change – happens in 2015:

In April, Aetna will be increasing the minimum base hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $16/hour.

This increase will positively affect approximately 5,700 of our employees across the U.S.

On average, this means an 11% increase for employees, and for some it may be as much as a 33%. For example, an employee previously earning $12/hour will make $16/hour.

A higher hourly wage also creates the opportunity for higher bonus and 401(k) contributions.

The increase is effective April 6 and will be reflected in paychecks starting April 24. Health care customer service, claims administration, plan sponsor eligibility, and billing are the largest categories of employees who will benefit. Many of these employees are the face of the company to customers every day.

Health Care Benefit Change – happens in 2016:

Aetna is launching an enhanced medical benefits program for 2016 that will help lower the out-of-pocket health care expenses for some of its U.S. employees. Early estimates are that approximately 7,000 U.S. employees will be eligible.

Employees must meet certain eligibility requirements to participate, including household income and commitment to engage in wellness programs.

The enhanced medical benefits program will be effective January 1, 2016, but employees will have to meet eligibility criteria in 2015.

Participation is voluntary.

Depending on their situation, the savings to participating employees could be up to $4,000.

These changes align with Aetna’s mission to build a healthier world, and will increase the financial security for many Aetna employees by improving wages and health care benefits.

Click here for a Fact Sheet on this announcement.

Click here and below for research from the Peterson Institute on the economic implications of corporations raising wages for U.S. workers.


Editor’s note: Aetna’s announcement has prompted a new level of conversation about wages and the workforce. In a post for the Financial Times, Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics writes, “It is possible to profit from paying your employees well — and it is probable that increasing lower-paid workers’ wages is the way forward for the United States.”