Aetna Rolls out New Small-Group Options in North Carolina

-- New Plans Offer Employers ‘Wellness on Us’ --

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced today that it is introducing a new suite of plans that cover preventive services without charging members a co-payment, expanding the health insurance options available for small employers in North Carolina.

The small-group plans are the first of their kind to be offered by Aetna in the state, and offer employers and members “Wellness on Us,” said Mark Schmidt, president of Aetna’s North Carolina market.

“With the country facing a difficult economic challenge, it’s becoming harder for smaller companies to offer their workers health insurance,” said Schmidt. “At the same time, they want to make sure employees obtain the preventive screenings they need. By eliminating co-pays for those services, these new Aetna plans remove any potential financial barriers and allow employers to offer both high-quality and affordable coverage.”

The plans will be marketed and sold through agents and brokers across the state.

While Aetna has offered its plans to North Carolina small employers for several years, but Schmidt noted, “We’ve become much better at designing plans more closely focused on the specific needs of employers of all sizes,” he said. “We’ve talked to agents and brokers, and to small employers, to better understand their benefits needs.”

“Aetna's new focus on the marketplace could not have come at a better time for the Carolinas,” said employee benefits broker Slade Lewis, with Craft Insurance Center Inc. in Greensboro. “Our customers are eager to have another carrier to choose from for their health insurance needs. They are particularly looking for group health insurance plans that are affordable, easy to understand, with good coverage options and provider networks. With their national presence and local support, Aetna is uniquely positioned to deliver this to them."

Aetna will offer 26 different plan designs for small-group customers in the state. They include HMO, POS and PPO options. Many of the plans also can accommodate a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). The plans can also be offered for a dual and triple option for groups of 10 or more enrollees.

In all of the plans, members will not be charged a co-pay when they visit the doctor for routine vision exams; physicals; well-child visits; gynecological exams; and mammograms.

Aetna provides health benefits to more than 308,000 members in North Carolina. Those members have access to contracted networks that include 1054 total facilities, and more than 15,045 physicians.

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


Walt Cherniak, 410-691-1405
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KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  North Carolina

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Other Health  Professional Services  Insurance  General Health  Managed Care