Aetna will move its headquarters to New York City

It’s official: Aetna is headed to the Big Apple.

The company, which has called Hartford, Connecticut, home since its founding, will move into its new headquarters at 61 Ninth Avenue starting in late 2018.

“New York City is a knowledge economy hub and a driver of the innovations that will play a significant part in our ongoing transformation,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in the announcement.

The insurer already has a presence in the city, he added, including operations in the Harlem neighborhood.

Aetna’s new headquarters will bring 250 jobs to New York City and provide an estimated $146 million economic benefit, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Aetna and the city also plan to develop partnerships that support public health, healthy living and digital health innovation.

Aetna stressed that the move will have “minimal impact” on its Connecticut-based employees, adding that it remains committed to its Hartford campus, where several of its key businesses will remain primarily based.

The insurer also, however, alluded to some of the reasons it chose to leave Connecticut in the first place, saying it “remains hopeful that lawmakers will come to an agreement that puts Connecticut on sound financial footing, and that the state will support needed reforms to make Hartford a vibrant city once again.

Indeed, Connecticut has struggled to attract jobs and retain young people, and Hartford could be facing bankruptcy if the state doesn’t help close a budget deficit, according to the Hartford Courant. Aetna’s announcement comes one year after another major blow for the state, when General Electric relocated its headquarters to Boston.

One other major insurer, though, still calls the Constitution State home: Cigna, which is based in Bloomfield, Connecticut.