More jobs doesn't equal more health plans

Declining joblessness hasn't translated into growth in employer-sponsored, group health insurance enrollment at Aetna (NYSE: AET), although it has put the brakes on membership erosion, reports the Wall Street Journal. "We have not seen employment come back [in group plans] yet even though the unemployment rate is falling," says Aetna president and CEO Mark Bertolini. "What has happened is that we have stopped seeing a decline in group health," which has flattened out in recent months. The jobless rate declined to 8.9 percent last month, and Aetna assumed a 10 percent unemployment rate when pricing its 2011 health plans. Although the rate now is lower than expected, it's unclear whether more people will obtain benefits as a result, Bertolini said. Article

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