Aetna (NYSE:AET) announced today that it is expanding the availability of its Aetna HealthFund® (AHF) consumer-directed plans offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). As of January 2009, the AHF plans will be offered in 12 new states and access will be expanded in 11 states where Aetna already offers the plans. This move further solidifies Aetna™s position as the leader in offering consumer-directed plans to federal enrollees to help them maximize potential health care savings during these tough economic times.

Providing access to high value, low premium plans has been a key component to our growth strategy in the FEHBP, said Tom Bernatavitz, Aetna vice president of Federal Plans. Through this expansion we will be able to offer our AHF plans to approximately one million more federal employees, providing them with more options and the ability to choose a plan that best fits their needs, he said. The Aetna HealthFund® plans give federal members access to Aetna™s PPO networks and will now be available to federal employees in 49 states plus the District of Columbia.

In addition to expanding access to these plans, our consumer-directed plan designs now include dental, vision, and chiropractic benefits. These changes are designed to increase value for our members while maintaining one of the lowest premium rates within the FEHBP, which is critical in today™s economic climate, Bernatavitz explained.

States where AHF plans will be newly introduced in January 2009 include Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Utah. Access to AHF plans will also be expanding in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Aetna HealthFund® Helps Members Achieve Optimal Health

Earlier this year, Aetna announced the results of a study that showed that members enrolled in a HealthFund plan were more engaged and active in their health care decision making. The study showed that Aetna HealthFund members spend 20 percent more on preventive care, adhere to drug therapies for chronic conditions, maintain access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, and maintain their levels of diabetic testing. The study concluded that, while the cost savings associated with an Aetna HealthFund plan can be significant, it™s important to note that those savings are achieved while members continue to use preventative and chronic care services.

Aetna is the largest consumer-driven health plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program with over 40,000 members in its two Aetna HealthFund® plans “ the Aetna HealthFund Consumer-Driven Health Plan (Health Reimbursement Arrangement, or HRA plan) and the Aetna HealthFund High Deductible Health Plan (Health Savings Account, or HSA plan). Aetna introduced its HRA to federal enrollees in 2004 and the HSA in 2005.

Aetna™s Online Resources Help Members Become Savvy Health Care Consumers

Last year, Aetna announced that, in addition to providing physician-specific price information, clinical quality and efficiency data, we would also be arming our federal members with a powerful Personal Health Record (PHR). The Aetna PHR is powered by the ActiveHealth patented CareEngine system that not only contains important health data, but can help members to improve their health.

Our online resources provide members with the opportunity to become more informed consumers of health care services. Cost transparency tools and improved access to personal health information through the PHR allow members to make better decisions about how to get the most out of their health plan, helping them save money while achieving improved health outcomes, said Bernatavitz.

Now federal members can test drive these members-only online resources before making their enrollment decision. Beginning this month, all consumers have access through Aetna™s public web site to resources for researching cost and quality information, learning about the value of the CareEngine®-Powered Personal Health Record and finding out what other tools are available through Aetna Navigator.

For more information on Aetna plans, visit

Aetna is one of the nation™s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 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.

Matt Wiggin, 860-273-4857