— New Direct Settlement Network in Africa Includes Over 31,000 Health Care Professionals, Reduces Members’ Out-of-Pocket Costs at Point of Care —
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of its commitment to build strong and secure partnerships with health care facilities around the world in order to promote access to quality care, the international division of Aetna (NYSE: AET), Aetna Global Benefits (AGB), today announced that it will establish a new direct settlement network in Africa comprised of more than 31,000 health care professionals. As a result of this arrangement, members on international assignment in Africa will reduce their out-of-pocket expenses at the point of care for eligible inpatient hospitalization and specialized outpatient procedures received at these facilities.
“We’re so pleased to be able to provide our more than 13,000 members living and working in Africa with additional provider and payment options,” said Martha Temple, president of Aetna Global Benefits. “Our direct settlement network will allow them easier access to quality care at thousands of hospitals, clinics and physicians in the region by reducing their out-of-pocket costs at the point of care.”
AGB will work with South African-based Medical Service Organization to implement the new direct settlement network. Implementation will initially begin in South Africa, Kenya and Angola, with plans to roll out to the rest of Africa by the end of 2009.
AGB’s direct settlement network currently includes approximately 2,000 health care professionals in over 110 countries. Members can also access care at health care professionals with similar arrangements through several AGB business partners, including HTH Worldwide, MD Abroad and World Assist. Additionally, members always have the ability to pay up front for care received at any health care professional worldwide, and submit a claim to AGB for reimbursement. Under certain plans, members can also receive significant discounts when accessing care in the United States, provided the care received is from a doctor or hospital that participates in the Aetna PPO network, which currently includes more than 902,000 health care professionals.
The addition of the new direct settlement network in Africa is consistent with the organization’s continued commitment to total employee health and wellness. In 2007, AGB launched Aetna Global Health Connections, a suite of health and wellness programs designed to help members stay healthier while on assignment and meet their health goals. AGB will continue to identify opportunities to promote access to quality care and provide resources and programs to help members complete successful assignments.
About Aetna Global Benefits
Aetna Global Benefits, the international division of Aetna Inc., is a provider of comprehensive health benefits solutions and health management services for multinational employers, high-net-worth individuals and government entities. AGB’s health benefits offerings include medical, dental, vision, life, disability and emergency assistance for employees and high-net-worth individuals who live, work or travel internationally. With the acquisition of Goodhealth Worldwide, AGB is one of the industry’s largest and most prominent U.S.-based international benefits providers, supporting approximately 400,000 members worldwide from offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.5 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com.
Christine Erb, 215-775-0409