How Did More Than 90,000 People Get Health Benefits Advice from the Same Person? Just Ask David

--Independent research firm recognizes Aetna Benefits Advisor as an early innovator--

--Online plan selection tool now available to hundreds of thousands of Aetna members through employers nationwide--

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that Aetna Benefits Advisor and online personal guide “David” is receiving accolades from customers, their employees and an independent research organization. In 2009, seven pilot customers purchased the Aetna Benefits AdvisorSM online plan selection and benefits education tool to help more than 90,000 Aetna members with their benefits selections during open enrollment. In surveys that measured consumer reactions to the tool, 76 percent of employees reported that it was “extremely” or “very helpful” in choosing a medical plan. Aetna Benefits Advisor, now available nationwide to employers with more than 3,000 employees, was recently reviewed by Forrester Research, Inc. and cited as an early innovator in an independent research report. (“Seven Trends Customer Experience Professionals In Healthcare Can’t Afford To Ignore,” Forrester Research, Inc., February, 2010)

“We decided to make Aetna Benefits Advisor available to our associates during open enrollment last year to help employees learn how their benefits work, and to help them choose the plan that works best for their individual needs,” said Pam Ladd, manager, Employee Benefits at Hannaford Supermarkets, which operates 171 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. “We received feedback from many associates who told us that ‘David’ made the benefits selection process easy by explaining complex health care issues with analogies that delivered the information they needed in a clear, concise way.”

The Aetna Benefits Advisor allows employers to provide health benefits education in simple, easy-to-understand language. This tool is one of several in Aetna’s efforts to simplify health benefits and communicate in plain language. Aetna Benefits Advisor educates consumers about the different benefits options available to them, including medical and dental plans, life insurance and disability, pharmacy benefits, and information about Aetna’s Personal Health Record and Employee Assistance Program services. An enhanced version of the tool will be available to support employers’ open enrollment periods beginning in June. Some new features include guidance for Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account contributions, a visual comparison of medical plan costs, a personalized summary web page that participants receive via e-mail, and more to engage people in making the best decisions about their health benefits.

“The current focus on health care reform is driving increased consumer interest in tools such as Aetna Benefits Advisor, which provides an interactive experience that helps people make better informed decisions about their health care,” said Mike Phillips, head of Innovation for National Accounts at Aetna. “Not only does this tool help consumers choose the plan that is right for them, but it also helps employers by educating employees about their plan choices, creating a way to engage employees in the benefits selection process and by reducing the amount of time HR departments spend answering benefits-related questions.”

To meet “David” visit:

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.1 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, see and Aetna's Annual Report at


Kate Prout, 215-348-2691
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