Aetna adds consumer-based services with PayFlex purchase

Looking to enhance its consumer health business, Aetna (NYSE: AET) is buying PayFlex Holdings Inc., an administrator of health savings and flexible spending accounts, for roughly $202 million, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Aetna expects to combine the Omaha-based PayFlex and its existing consumer fund services into a single unit with about 2 million accounts, according to a company press release. PayFlex will still sell its products as a standalone business.

"This acquisition fits well with Aetna's core business, which has a strong focus on consumer-directed product offerings," said Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. "With an increased focus on consumerism, the acquisition of PayFlex will extend Aetna's ability to provide members with flexible, customized, easy-to-use tools and solutions to better manage their health care expenses."

PayFlex has web-based programs to manage health benefits with features such as health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, flexible spending accounts and COBRA direct-billing, notes the press release.

"We firmly believe our proprietary HealthHub technology platform will be a great addition to the Aetna portfolio of products and will create unique market advantages for our existing and future potential customers," said PayFlex CEO Robert Natt.  

To learn more:
- here's the Aetna press release
- read the Wall Street Journal article

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