Aetna History


1850

  • In 1850, Aetna Insurance Company organizes an Annuity Fund to sell life insurance. Aetna Insurance Company turns to a Hartford, Conn., judge, Eliphalet A. Bulkeley, who was a general counsel to the company and also on its board of directors. Judge Bulkeley had been the president of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, which was, when founded in 1846, the first life insurance company in Connecticut. He was chosen to head the Annuity Fund operation, and in the summer of 1850, the department commences business.

1853

  •  The Annuity department separates from Aetna Insurance and is incorporated as Aetna Life Insurance Company. The company's first president is Eliphalet A. Bulkeley. The name "Aetna" is retained to take advantage of the good reputation of the original Aetna, and because three years of life policies already had been issued under that name. The name was inspired by an 11,000-foot volcano on the eastern shores of Sicily, Mt. Etna, then the most active volcano in Europe. Awed by the strength of the mountain, they named their fledgling venture Aetna Insurance Company.

     

1854

  • Aetna hires its first full-time employee, Thomas O. Enders.

1857

  • Aetna moves to new offices on Hungerford and Cone Streets in Hartford.
  • Eliphalet Bulkeley thwarts a move to liquidate the company during an economic downturn.

1861

  • Aetna begins offering participating life insurance policies. This product, which paid dividends to policyholders just as the mutuals did, gives Aetna the ability to better compete in the marketplace. In 1861 Aetna launches its new product with an aggressive promotional effort, which includes higher commission rates for agents. This shift in strategy caught the industry by surprise. With the outbreak of the Civil War, many companies were thinking of retrenching, not expansion. But the devastation of the battlefields combined with a prosperous wartime economy to spark a surge in life insurance purchases. As the war closed, Aetna was one of the nation's leading life insurers.

1865

  • Annual income tops $1 million. By 1864 Aetna had increased its volume of business by 600 percent over 1861 levels and had increased annual premium income nine times. This rapid growth gave Aetna the financial stability and resources it needed to meet the stringent requirements placed on life companies in Massachusetts and New York, and by 1865 the company was authorized to solicit business in both states for the first time. In the eyes of the industry, Aetna had arrived. Also in 1865, the company pays a large cash dividend, the first since 1857, and its size eclipses the combined total of all previous dividends.

1867

  • Aetna issues its first farm mortgage loan. By 1872, Aetna had 27 percent of its assets in farm mortgages. From that start, the company rose to become one of the two largest national firms in the farm mortgage field. By 1924, Aetna had 43 percent of its assets — $94 million — invested in the breadbasket of the country.
  • Aetna moves to its third home office at 670 Main Street, Hartford.

1868

  • Aetna radically alters its business practices. Toward this end, Aetna hires its first actuary in 1868. It also abandons the half-note premium system, a widely used insurance standard. An all-cash premium plan is introduced, making Aetna one of the first two companies to switch from the half-notes. Within three years all but one major company did likewise. Aetna also built into new policy contracts an emphasis on such consumer-oriented items as nonforfeiture clauses and paying policyholder dividends after the first year rather than the fifth, as was generally done.
  • The first edition of The Aetna, the company's first periodical, is issued.

1872

  • Eliphalet A. Bulkeley dies; Thomas O. Enders becomes president.

1878

  • Aetna increases its capitalization from $150,000 to $750,000.

1879

  • Enders' failing health forces him to resign; Morgan G. Bulkeley, Eliphalet's son, replaces him.

1888

  • Aetna moves into its fourth home office. By 1888 the company had outgrown its old quarters on 670 Main Street in Hartford and purchases new ones next door at 650 Main Street. The new building, the first Aetna actually owned, would serve as Aetna's home office for the next 42 years.
  • Aetna President Morgan G. Bulkeley is elected governor of Connecticut. Bulkeley, the son of the first Republican speaker in the Connecticut Legislature, was a career politician on the Republican side. He had already been the mayor of Hartford for several terms, and would eventually wind up his political career as a member of the storied "Millionaires' Senate" of 1906, so named for the wealth of its members.

1891

  • Aetna issues its first accident policy. Morgan Bulkeley had been thinking about entering the accident insurance field as early as 1882, when he was one of the prime movers behind a Connecticut law that would allow a chartered life company to write accident coverage as well. Policy No. 1 was sold to Bulkeley himself. With its entry into accident coverages, Aetna took its first step in a 30-year transformation from a monoline insurer to a company that offered a variety of coverages to meet almost any insurance need.

1892

  • Aetna holds its first general agents conference in Chicago.

1899

  • Aetna enters the field of health insurance. It wasn't until the turn of the century when larger insurance companies, with the statistical bases to set adequate pricing levels and the sales forces capable of spreading risk, enter the field, and health insurance becomes a part of the industry. In 1899 Aetna becomes one of the first stock insurance companies to enter the health insurance business. The new product was offered only to people holding or purchasing an Aetna life or accident policy, and was not intended to be anything more than a spur to the sales of the other two lines. 

1902

  •  Aetna begins offering liability coverages. As the nation's industrial base grew more complex, and the Progressive social reform movement gained political momentum, Aetna responds by organizing an Accident and Liability department in 1902 to handle employers' liability and workmen's collective insurance. This department became the cornerstone of the Aetna Accident and Liability Company in 1907, which in rapid order moved into more lines of property and casualty insurance, including protection against damage to horse teams, flywheel breakage, auto collision coverage, plate glass and burglary insurance, and surety bonds.

     

1903

  • An Engineering and Inspection Division is created to improve workplace safety.

1904

  • Aetna introduces its first corporate seal. The 1904 Aetna logo  (PDF) is more of an advertisement than anything else. In order to convey Aetna's status as the largest life insurer in the world writing accident, health and liability coverages, the emblem portrays the company's home office bursting out from within a globe. Large block typeface spells out Aetna's ranking.

1906

  •  The San Francisco earthquake hammers the insurance industry. Two hundred and forty-three insurance companies pay out over $225 million in claims, wiping out every dollar of profit American fire insurers had made over the last 47 years. Twenty companies fail completely; most make only partial payments on the claims under the tenuous assertion that most of the damage in the city had been caused by the earthquake (for which fire insurers were not liable). Nonetheless, the Hartford insurance companies would pay every claim in full — the Hartford Fire Insurance Company pays over $11 million, and Aetna Insurance Company pays almost $3 million.

     

1907

  • The company begins offering automobile coverages. In 1907, Aetna created a casualty subsidiary — the forerunner of Aetna Casualty and Surety — to handle (among other things) automobile property coverages. Soon after, Aetna began aggressively developing related lines such as collision and damage.

1908

  • Aetna hires its first home office female employee, Julia Kinghorn, a telephone switchboard operator. Today, women comprise more than two-thirds of the total employee population, and their interests have shaped corporate culture in ways unimagined in 1908.

1910

  • Aetna begins using Hollerith (keypunch) machines for tabulating; 35 women are hired to input mortality statistics using the new technology, becoming the company's first female home office clerks. E.E. Cammack, an innovative Englishman, was responsible for introducing the Hollerith data processing technology to Aetna in 1910 — one of the earliest examples of the company's willingness to utilize technology in order to improve efficiency.

1911

  • The company begins its first national advertising campaign.
  • Aetna forms a bond department to sell fidelity and surety coverages.

1912

  • Aetna introduces the industry's first combination automobile policy, combining several coverages into one contract. One year later the company formed its second affiliate, the Automobile Insurance Company, to write fire insurance on cars. This new affiliate soon expanded its lines to include windstorm, tornado, leasehold, and ocean and inland marine insurance.
  • Several Aetna insureds lose their lives on the Titanic.

1913

  • Aetna forms a Group department to sell group life insurance, becoming one of the first insurers to write group coverages for businesses. The line became the foundation upon which Aetna built its current health care business. The 1900s brought into the public consciousness the notion that employers were responsible for the safety of their workers. As a consequence, the emergence of a market for employer liability insurance prompted Aetna to enter the fray. Over the years the company added group accident (1914), group disability (1919) and group medical (1936) to its original group life portfolio.

1916

  • Bulkeley outfits a Connecticut battalion to patrol the Mexican border.

1917

  • The United States enters World War I. During World War I, Aetna uses its financial strength to provide the huge amounts of insurance needed to bond contractors involved in government construction. The company also helps fund the country's war effort by purchasing and selling millions of dollars of Liberty Bonds. As part of this effort, the company creates a department to sell and process war bond subscriptions.

1919

  • Aetna begins offering group disability policies.

1921

  • Aetna appoints E.E. Cammack to run the Group department, a job he performed so ably that although not a founder, he became known as "the Father of the Group department." By the time he retired in 1956, Cammack had been Aetna's chief actuary for more than 30 years, a senior officer in the casualty affiliates since 1927, and a member of the board of directors of three of the four Aetna companies.

1922

  • Morgan G. Bulkeley dies after 43 years as Aetna president. He is replaced by his nephew, Morgan B. Brainard. Under Bulkeley’s guidance, Aetna had undergone a period of explosive growth. Its assets increased from $25.7 million in 1879 to $207 million, and premium income rose more than twenty-fold. His successor, Morgan B. Brainard, sought to improve upon what had been built by ensuring that Aetna's resources were utilized efficiently. Under Brainard, Aetna revamped its agency system and rewrote its policies in simpler language and more inclusive underwriting standards.
  • The company advertises on radio for the first time.

1924

  • Aetna participates in the first Greater Hartford Community Chest fund-raising drive, firmly anchoring Aetna’s long tradition of giving.

1926

  • Aetna appoints its first female officer, Dr. Marion Bills. Dr. Bills completely revamped the company's personnel policies within two years. She also introduced the Bonus Plan, a piecework sliding pay scale that was primarily applied to data processing departments.
  • An Aetna casualty affiliate nearly goes bankrupt. The Automobile Insurance Company had contributed to the spectacular growth of Aetna during the early years of Brainard's tenure, with premium income almost tripling from $11 million in 1922 to $30 million in 1924. By 1926, it is clear that the organization is undercapitalized, and that bankruptcy is a real possibility. Brainard moves quickly by removing the top management of the company and replacing them with a group led by Cammack, and recapitalizing the organization with Aetna Life money so that its financial stability could be restored. The moves work — within two years the company is again in the black, albeit on a much less ambitious scale.
  • Aetna confronts a farm mortgage crisis by entering farm management business. Aetna had been investing in this field since 1867. By the turn of the century, over 40 percent of company assets were in farm mortgages. But the post-war agricultural sector collapsed, and land values plummeted. Aetna was forced reluctantly to foreclose on an increasing number of mortgages. Rather than sell at a big loss, Aetna takes the aggressive step of entering the farm management business, an innovative approach for an insurer. The company would fix up the properties, lease them to tenants, and wait until prices rose to a more acceptable level before selling. Due to the extended economic downturn caused by the Depression, the company ended up managing these properties far longer than it had anticipated. Aetna eventually withdrew from the farm mortgage field in 1947, after 80 years in the business.

1929

  • The stock market crash kicks off the Great Depression. Aetna's fortunes are not as devastated as one might have expected from a company so heavily involved in investments. Only about 12 percent of the company's assets are in common stock, and almost half of that was in its own companies. The inherent strength of the Aetna companies enable them to survive the 1930s. Aetna manages the crisis by withholding dividend payments to shareholders from late 1932 to early 1934, reducing the workforce through attrition and cutting salaries by 10 percent. Aetna employees survive the Depression in relatively good shape; there were no layoffs, and the companywide pay cut, already less than the national average of 25 percent, was more than offset by a deflationary cycle that increased purchasing power.
  • Construction begins on the current home office, at 151 Farmington Ave. At the time of its completion in late 1930, the structure is the largest colonial-style building in the world and is the largest office building in Connecticut.

     

1930

  • Aetna becomes the first multiple line insurer in America to pay out $1 billion in claims.
  • Aetna enters the pension business.

1931

  • The Aetna Life girls’ basketball team appears on national newsreel features.
  • The company bonds the construction of the Hoover Dam.

1932

  • Aetna bonds the construction of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

1936

  • Aetna begins offering group health policies.

1940

  •  Aetna bonds the construction of seven U.S. Navy aircraft carriers — the Essex, the Yorktown, the Intrepid, the Hornet, the Franklin, the Ticonderoga and the Randolph. More than 1,600 Aetna employees would serve in the military during World War II. As it did in World War I, Aetna aids the war effort by throwing its substantial resources behind bond drives, raising millions for the war chest.

     

1944

  • Aetna provides insurance coverages for the Manhattan Project, which produced the world's first atomic bomb.
  • Aetna becomes the first insurer to advertise on television.

1947

  • Aetna provides group coverages to the United Nations.

1948

  • Charlie Winters dies, ending 74 years, 8 months of service, an Aetna record.

1949

  • Aetna bonds the construction of the United Nations headquarters in New York. 

1951

  • The Group department introduces major medical coverages, as a labor shortage coupled with a wage freeze make employee benefits one way employers can attract and retain workers. As American society became more affluent, it insisted upon adequate and accessible medical care. Providing this care in the form of benefits packages became the focus of the Group department during the years after the war, as it developed plans to cover first routine medical expenses and then, in 1951, catastrophic illnesses.

1953

  •  Aetna celebrates its centennial.  On a hot June day in 1953, Aetna celebrates its 100th anniversary with a gala attended by more than 8,000 people at the home office. The festivities feature Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, Harry James and his big band, Henny Youngman, and a congratulatory note from Vice President Richard M. Nixon. More than 40,000 finger sandwiches and 17,000 bottles of Coca-Cola are served. The birthday cake stands over 12 feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds.

     

1954

  • Aetna orders its first computer, an IBM 650. The company is only the third insurer nationally to use the new "electronic brain."

1955

  • Aetna launches its first national consumer advertising campaign since 1931.

1956

  • Aetna hires its first home office minority professional employee to work as a computer programmer.

1957

  • Morgan Brainard dies after 35 years at the helm. Henry S. Beers becomes Aetna's new CEO. Beers would oversee a companywide overhaul that streamlined operations, updated products and procedures, and modernized both the workforce and the workplace.

1958

  • Aetna issues its first statement of principles.

1959

  • Beers makes corporate social responsibility an Aetna business objective. Upon the philanthropic foundations that he laid, his successors were able to construct a company that was not only a progressive force in the community, but in the nation.

1960

  • Aetna enters the international insurance arena by acquiring a Canadian life insurer, Excelsior Life Insurance Company.

1962

  • Aetna has over 16,000 employees. Two-thirds are women.

1963

  • Aetna insures the lives of the first seven American astronauts. An enterprising Houston agent convinced America's original seven astronauts to purchase Aetna policies. He then convinced Aetna to write the policies, the first individual life insurance policies for spacemen. When L. Gordon Cooper capped the pioneering Mercury program with a historic 22-orbit flight, Aetna was there, too.
  • Henry Beers retires and is replaced by Olcott D. Smith. Smith, the son of a former Aetna general counsel and a lawyer himself, was an Aetna director and had served as vice chairman under Beers since 1962.
  • The company formally crafts an "Equal Opportunity" policy.

1965

  •  The Aetna Life & Casualty name is used for the first time. In order to increase corporate name recognition, Aetna abandons its traditional individual company identities in 1965 in favor of a single public image — Aetna Life & Casualty.
  • The company cosponsors a series of National Geographic television specials, including Jacques Cousteau's undersea world and Miss Jane Goodall's chimpanzees.

     

1966

  • Aetna pays the first Medicare claim.
  • Aetna partners with Italy's Assicurazioni Generali to form an international insurance network that would market insurance products in over 70 countries.

1967

  • Aetna Life and Casualty Inc., a holding company, is formed. Aetna Life Insurance Company announces its intention to restructure its corporate framework into a holding company that would own all the stock of Aetna Life and its affiliated companies, Aetna Casualty and Surety Company and Standard Fire Insurance Company.
  • Aetna acquires the Participating Annuity Life Insurance Company. Aetna's acquisition of PALIC was in keeping with a strategic plan to grow its financial services.

1968

  • The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Aetna appears on the Big Board for the first time on September 24, 1968, four days after the stockholders approve an increase in stock from 26 million to 40 million shares of common stock, and the creation of 10 million shares of preferred stock.
  • Aetna expands its international business in 1968 by acquiring a majority interest in Producer's and Citizen's Cooperative Assurance Company, a Sydney, Australia-based entity, for a negotiated price of $10 million.

1969

  • Aetna launches new diversified investment strategy. By diversifying the company's profit base into fields that did not suffer the potentially devastating fluctuations that casualty insurance did, it might be possible to minimize any operating losses the company might incur. As a result, Aetna stated its intention to expand into related insurance fields in both national and international markets.

1971

  • Aetna Life and Casualty Foundation, a vehicle for corporate giving, is formed. The company continued to be an important source of funding for various humanities and social welfare projects, with an emphasis on Aetna's role in the Hartford community. The company backed one Hartford revitalization attempt after another — the Hartford Civic Center, the Aetna World Cup, the Hartford Whalers.

1972

  • Smith retires, and is replaced as CEO by John H. Filer, a Smith protégé and Aetna general counsel.
  • Aetna sponsors the Aetna World Cup, an international tennis challenge. The Aetna World Cup Tennis Tournament, a world-class sporting event that featured top professionals from Australia and the United States competing in a team format, played for two years in Boston when Aetna agreed to sponsor it in the Hartford area. Tournament proceeds were donated to a different charity each year until 1975, when the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation became the official beneficiary. Aetna continued sponsoring the nationally televised event until 1980.

1973

  • Aetna creates an HMO subsidiary.

1974

  • The Aetna Girls Club is renamed the Aetna Women's Club.

1975

  • The Hartford Civic Center, an Aetna realty development project, opens. Aetna joined with the city of Hartford to finance the Civic Center — one of the largest and most unique public-private projects of its kind. The company owned the retail half of the facility, while the city owned the coliseum. The Civic Center was one of the largest redevelopment projects in New England.
  • The company acquires a minority interest in the Hartford Whalers hockey team. Aetna CFO Donald Conrad was instrumental in bringing professional sports to Hartford in the form of the New England Whalers of the short-lived World Hockey Association. In 1974, numerous local firms acquired a 37.5 percent share in exchange for $1.5 million equity contribution, of which Aetna's interest was 25 percent. By 1984 Aetna had increased its interest in the team to 38 percent. The Whalers became the showpiece when the Civic Center opened in 1975.

1977

  • Aetna launches an innovative issues-oriented advertising campaign. Defined as an attempt to educate consumers about industry issues, the innovative campaign created a great deal of commotion. Fabulously successful, the campaign was able to greatly increase the company's name recognition in a positive fashion without attempting to sell Aetna products.

1981

  • Aetna reorganizes along market segments. As part of a company-wide reorganization, Aetna abandons its divisional arrangement in favor of a more market-focused structure. The Personal Financial Security Division is created to meet the needs of individuals; the Commercial Insurance Division is developed to cater to small and large businesses; and the Group Division is renamed the Employee Benefits Division in order to better describe its function.
  • Aetna acquires a 40 percent interest in two Chilean companies, a pension and a life enterprise. Soon to follow are ventures in England, Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Korea.

1982

  • Aetna introduces its "Aetna, I'm Glad I Met Ya!" advertising campaign.
  • The company reenters the managed care industry with the introduction of its first formal HMO, Choice HMO in Chicago.

1984

  • Filer retires and is replaced by James T. Lynn. The selection of James T. Lynn, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, to fill the post of chairman initiates a new era at Aetna. Right from the start of his administration he emphasizes return on shareholders' equity as a key performance standard — by setting a quantifiable item as a corporate goal, he implemented a clear sense of direction. He also lays the groundwork for a wide variety of cost-containment programs, ranging from internal corporate reorganizations to eliminating unprofitable lines and markets.
  • Aetna abandons diversified investment strategy.
  • Aetna opens new facilities worth $200 million. The expansion strategy encompassed three parts: a new building in Middletown, Conn., that would consolidate the Employee Benefits Division (EBD) into a single site; construction in Hartford that consisted of a training center across from the home office, renovation of several buildings on Capitol Avenue, and the construction of another office building in the downtown area from which Aetna would lease floor space; and the construction of a new building in Fall River, Mass., that would consolidate the company employees in that town.

1985

  • Aetna joins with Voluntary Hospitals of America to form Partners National Health Plans, an alternative delivery health care joint venture. Aetna, then the nation's largest private health insurer, entered the 50-50 joint venture to begin marketing HMOs, PPOs and other competitively priced products. VHA, with over 400 hospitals in 40 states, was the nation's largest not-for-profit multihospital organization.

1986

  • Aetna bonds the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.
  • A U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., chooses Aetna to administer claims payments for Agent Orange victims.

1987

  • Partners National Health Plans total membership tops 1 million.
  • Aetna sells the industry's first employer group long-term care plan.

1988

  • The company launches the Aetna Challenge Senior Golf Tournament in Naples, Florida.
  • Aetna sponsors PBS' The American Experience television series.
  • Aetna acquires Human Affairs International, Inc., a leading provider of employee assistance programs and managed mental health plans, to complement its growing investment in managed care systems.

1989

  • Aetna processes the first Agent Orange settlement payments for Vietnam veterans and their dependents.
  • In a three-week span, Hurricane Hugo hammered the southeastern United States, while the San Francisco Bay area was rocked by an earthquake.

1990

  • Aetna stops selling individual health policies, ending a 91-year-old coverage. Aetna reevaluates its lines of businesses, basing its examination on the profitability of the market and the expertise and resources the company could throw into the line. As a result, the company was able to identify and withdraw from unprofitable lines and markets.
  • Fortune magazine lists Aetna as its fifth most-admired financial services company.

1991

  • Aetna reorganizes into strategic business units.

1992

  • Lynn retires and is replaced as CEO by Ronald E. Compton.
  • Hurricane Andrew decimates the southeastern United States.

1993

  • Aetna opens its first offices in China.

1996

  • Aetna sells its property-casualty operations to Travelers Insurance Group for $4 billion, ending the century-old multiline business era.
  • Aetna merges with U.S. Healthcare, beginning a new era — Aetna as a health and financial services company. The health business becomes Aetna U.S. Healthcare.
  • Aetna combines its financial services business units into Aetna Retirement Services.
  • Aetna Life & Casualty is renamed Aetna Inc.

1997

  • Aetna Retirement Services purchases Financial Network Investment Company, a leading financial planning company.
  • Aetna announces it is committing $7 million to help fund the American Heart Association’s National Women’s Heart Disease and Stroke Campaign to help raise awareness among women about the risks of heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death of women over 25.

1998

  • Ron Compton retires and is succeeded by Richard L. Huber, president and chief executive officer of Aetna Inc. since July 1997.
  • Aetna International forms insurance joint venture in Thailand.
  • Aetna completes its acquisition of NYLCare Health Plans for $1.05 billion, adding 2.2 million members to Aetna U.S. Healthcare’s membership base.

1999

  • Aetna completes its acquisition of Prudential HealthCare for $1 billion, making Aetna the country’s largest provider of health benefits with more than 21 million members.
  • Aetna International launches a joint pension venture in Poland with the country’s sixth largest bank.
  • Aetna commits $15 million to Hartford redevelopment, including $10 million for projects within the Capital City Economic Development Authority district designated by the state legislature. 

2000

  • William H. Donaldson, an Aetna director since 1977 and a former chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, becomes Aetna chairman, CEO and president, replacing Richard L. Huber, who resigns.
  • Aetna names John W. Rowe, M.D., president and CEO of Aetna U.S. Healthcare, helping Aetna to remake its business model to meet consumer demands for choice and flexibility and enhancing relationships with doctors and hospitals.
  • Aetna completes the sale of its financial services and international businesses to ING for $7.7 billion and spins off the health business to its shareholders. The sale helps Aetna redefine itself as an independent health and group benefits company, on its way to restoring industry leadership in terms of service, reputation and profitability.
  • Aetna becomes founding sponsor of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), which raises millions for colorectal cancer research and education. As founding sponsor, Aetna commits $5 million over three years, contributing to new scientific discoveries and educational campaigns.

2001

  • Donaldson steps down as chairman and is succeeded by Dr. Rowe, who becomes Aetna chairman, president and CEO.
  • Ronald A. Williams, an executive with Wellpoint, assumes the position of executive vice president and chief of Health Operations.
  • Aetna launches Aetna HealthFund®, an innovative health care product that marks the first foray into consumerism by a national, full-service health benefits company.

2002

  • Dr. Rowe breaks new ground when he calls on the health insurance industry to support legislation and consider adopting guidelines for access to genetic testing, genetic counseling and the appropriate use of test results. The guidelines, reflected in the Aetna’s own comprehensive policy for coverage policy decisions, become the industry standard.
  • Ronald Williams is named president of Aetna, and he is elected to the Board of Directors, bringing the number of directors to 12.

2003

  •  Aetna celebrates its 150th anniversary. To mark the milestone, Aetna executives ring the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on June 16.
  • Aetna and physicians begin a new era of cooperation by agreeing to streamline communications, reduce administrative complexity and improve the quality of the health care system, ending litigation between Aetna and 700,000 physicians and medical societies. The agreement also results in establishment of an independent foundation to focus on critical health care issues and a physicians’ advisory board.
  • Aetna, a leader in addressing health disparities, commits more than $3 million to address the company’s focus on helping to improve access to care and delivery of health care to diverse populations.

     

2004

  • An award for "Best Business Turnaround -- More Than 2,500 Employees" is presented to Aetna as part of the 2004 American Business Awards competition. The awards recognize outstanding leadership, innovation, perseverance, creativity, teamwork and integrity in business.
  • Aetna adopts a new, industry-leading approach to end-of-life care through the Aetna Compassionate Care, a comprehensive new program of expanded benefits, nurse case management and information.
  • The Physicians’ Foundation for Health Systems Excellence, Inc. receives an accelerated $10 million contribution from Aetna.

2005

  • After achieving a new high-water mark in stock price in 2004, Aetna declares a two-for-one split of the company's common stock effective March 11, 2005.
  • Aetna completes a series of strategic acquisitions that allow the company to strengthen its base of products and services while reaching new customer segments. These acquisitions include Strategic Resource Company (SRC), an administrator of group benefit products for part-time and hourly workers; ActiveHealth Management, a clinically focused, technology-driven health management and health care data analytics company; and HMS Healthcare, a regional health care network operating in Michigan, Colorado and other states.
  • Aetna launches a pioneering transparency program that allows consumers in selected areas to see the cost of physician services online before they go to the doctor's office.
  • Aetna and the Aetna Foundation award $2.25 million in grants to address racial and ethnic disparities and end-of-life care.

2006

  • Ronald A. Williams becomes chairman, chief executive officer and president of Aetna, succeeding John W. Rowe, M.D., who retires.
  • Aetna declares a 2-for-1 split, effective February 17, of the company's common stock.
  • Aetna and the Aetna Foundation award $2.25 million in grants to address end-of-life care and depression.
  • Aetna commits $50 million to support minority- and women-owned businesses over the next four years as part of its ongoing investment in and support of this growing market segment.
  • Aetna acquires the disability and leave management business of Broadspire, a leading provider of disability and casualty claim management services.

2007

  • Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna's executive vice president and head of Business Operations, is named President of Aetna Inc., reporting to Chairman and CEO Ronald A. Williams.
  • Aetna acquires Schaller Anderson, a leading provider of health care management services for Medicaid plans, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Aetna acquires Goodhealth Worldwide, a leading managing general underwriter for international private medical insurance, offering expatriate benefits around the world.

2008

  • Aetna is selected by FORTUNE magazine as the most admired company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category.
  • As part of a commitment to improving patient safety, Aetna incorporates a "never events" policy into its hospital contract templates so that Aetna will no longer reimburse for serious, preventable medical errors.

2009

  • For the second consecutive year, Aetna is selected by FORTUNE magazine as the most admired company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category.

2010

  • President Mark T. Bertolini is named chief executive officer of Aetna, succeeding Ronald A. Williams, who remains as chairman until his retirement in April 2011. Bertolini also is named to the company's Board of Directors.
  • For the third consecutive year, Aetna is selected by FORTUNE magazine as the most admired company in the Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care category.

2011

  • Mark T. Bertolini becomes chairman, chief executive officer and president of Aetna, succeeding Ronald A. Williams, who retires.
  • Aetna acquires Medicity, a health information exchange technology company headquarted in Salt Lake City.
  • Aetna acquires Prodigy Health Group, the nation’s largest independent third party administrator of self-funded health care plans, headquartered in New York City.

2012

  • Aetna unveils a refreshed brand promise as the company continues its evolution from an insurance carrier to a health solutions company. The revitalization of the brand is focused on driving increased consumer engagement in their health care and empowering people to live healthier lives.
  • Aetna is recognized as one of America's most community-minded companies, ranking fourth in "The Civic 50" survey. The survey is the first comprehensive ranking of S&P 500 corporations that best use heir time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

2013

  • Aetna acquires Coventry Health Care, Inc., making the combined organization the third largest health care benefits company in America, based on membership, serving an estimated 22 million medical members in the U.S. and around the world.