Aetna Wins Plain Language Award

Virtual benefits advisor “David” earns Top honor from Center for Plain Language

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that the company’s online benefits advisor won a top honor from the Center for Plain Language on April 28.

Aetna understands choosing a health plan is not easy. The new Aetna Benefit Advisor tool was launched in 2009. The virtual advisor is named “David.” In his friendly manner, David helps people make a good choice when buying a health plan. David is available at

David asks the person using the tool a series of questions. He uses the answers to help people choose the best health plan for their needs. He helps compare cost information. He also knows how to help people save money. David’s advice is e-mailed to the user.

The judges for the ClearMark Award had the following comments about David:

  • “This is a clever website.”
  • “Script is easy to understand and dialog has a friendly tone.”
  • “Follow up e-mails are easy to understand and use.”
  • “Animations are great.”

“The effort and detail that made David possible shows a real caring about wanting to reach people, not just transfer information," said Susan Kleimann, a ClearMark board member. "That’s a nice thing to say about Aetna’s values. Plus, all the judges loved his voice!"

Helping Consumers

"Last year we were thrilled to be the first health insurer to win a ClearMark Award," said Jill Griffiths, Aetna’s head of Communications and executive sponsor of Aetna’s health literacy work. "Winning again this year tells us we are still making valuable progress. Health care is complex. But tools like David show that we can help consumers make good choices to meet their needs."

"People often ask if we can recommend a plan to them," said Mike Phillips, Aetna's head of innovation for National Accounts. "David helps us do that. He's like a friendly, helpful neighbor. But he just happens to know an awful lot about health plan options."

Jellyvision, makers of the quiz game YOU DON’T KNOW JACK, helped create David. The company shares this honor.

"Having received said award of notable distinction, we find ourselves in a state of mirth," said Kurt Hirsch, a lawyer from Jellyvision Lab. This was quickly translated by CEO, Harry Gottlieb, who said, "Kurt means we are delighted to win this award. Thanks to ClearMark for recognizing our efforts to make benefits education simple and fun. And thanks to Aetna for their partnership."

Employers also like David. He answers many employee questions and saves employers time and money.

Other Nominees

Besides David, Aetna had three other nominees:

  • Plain language ads, which appear in Aetna buildings across the country
  • A health literacy/plain language employee intranet
  • A revised letter for members

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 33.8 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary 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, see To learn more about Aetna’s innovative online tools, visit

About the Center for Plain Language

The Center for Plain Language is a D.C.-based nonprofit organization that wants government and business documents to be clear and understandable. The Center supports those who use plain language, trains those who should use plain language, and urges people to demand plain language in all the documents they receive, read, and use.

About Jellyvision

Creators of the game YOU DON'T KNOW JACK, the Jellyvision Lab was founded in 2001 to evolve beyond virtual teachers and game show hosts to advisors who help companies communicate more effectively. We have partnered with clients such as Dell, Microsoft, IBM, Aetna,, and Comcast to combat communication obstacles to help them drive revenue and reduce costs.


Susan G. Millerick, 860-273-0536
[email protected]

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