Aetna Goes Small

May 14, 2002 ( - Aetna is moving into the small-company health care market with a standardized benefits product line and easy administration, according to a Dow Jones news report.

The benefits provider said in a press release that it is targeting employers with fewer than 50 workers in California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas by mid-year and in other areas by year end.

Aetna said the small-company health benefit programs could have as many as a dozen health plans per state as well as dental, life, and short-term disability policies.

Last July, the health insurer said its board had adopted a three-prong strategy to turn around its troubled business that included insuring more mid- sized employers, exiting unprofitable markets, and bulking up the number of self- insured accounts.

Aetna also planned to become more selective about the markets where it insured small businesses.

The spokeswoman said “in the past year or so” it has exited from markets in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.