As a leading provider of health care benefits, Aetna demonstrates its mission of helping
people achieve health and financial security by providing insurance coverage for easy
access to safe, cost-effective, high-quality health care. As part of that commitment, we strive to ensure that our voice is represented on the public policy issues that affect our company, our industry, our employees and the communities we serve.
As a leader in the health care industry, we can and should be a leader in advocating our point of view in the political arena to help effect public policy solutions - the mission of our Federal and State Government Relations department. Aetna Government Relations identifies issues of importance to Aetna and then informs policymakers, Members of Congress and state officials to make sure that our point of view related to these issues is clearly understood. A discussion of Aetna’s legislative, regulatory, and political activities and oversight mechanisms follows below. Reports of the activities of previous years can be found at the following link:
Giving employees a political voice: Aetna's Political Action Committee
One of the tools we have to show support for legislators and candidates who share our views is our political action committee - Aetna PAC.
Aetna PAC is a bipartisan political action committee, an organization that enables company employees to have a voice in electing or re-electing legislators who make laws and policy that have a direct impact on the way the company does business. Its purpose is to collect voluntary contributions from eligible Aetna employees and then use these funds to support candidates for federal and state political office in accordance with applicable election laws.
Aetna PAC oversight and supervision
The Treasurer of Aetna PAC and the PAC Administrator are responsible for the day-to-day management of Aetna PAC. Subject to the oversight and supervision of the Aetna PAC Board of Directors, the officers of Aetna PAC are responsible for the solicitation of contributions and disbursement of funds consistent with state and federal laws. The Contributions Committee, composed of state and federal government relations personnel, considers a candidate's voting record, leadership position, committee assignment and other factors in making contribution decisions. Aetna PAC is audited annually by the company's outside auditors, and audited financial statements are available upon request.
Aetna PAC membership
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, membership in a federal corporate political action committee like Aetna PAC is limited to those employees who are both:
Corporate political contributions
Where permitted by law and of interest to the company, Aetna makes corporate contributions to support the election of candidates for state office. Subject to the oversight and supervision of the Aetna PAC Board of Directors, the officers of Aetna PAC are responsible for the disbursement of corporate funds consistent with state and federal laws. The Contributions Committee, composed of state and federal government relations personnel, considers a candidate's voting record, leadership position, committee assignment and other factors in making contribution decisions.
Policy Statement on PAC and Corporate Contributions
Whether political contributions are derived from Aetna’s corporate treasury (to the extent allowed by law) or from Aetna PAC, such expenditures are governed by this policy statement and criteria. All corporate political contributions must promote the interests of the company and must be made without regard for the private political preferences of company directors or officers. Each contribution, whether made from corporate funds or from Aetna PAC funds, must go through a legal review and approval process to ensure that the political contribution complies with all applicable laws as well as this Policy Statement. No contribution may be made or given in anticipation of, recognition of, or in return for, an official act.
This Policy Statement incorporates by reference the Contribution Criteria found at this link, and all contributions must be made in accord with these criteria. This Policy Statement also incorporates by reference the Management and Process sections of Aetna PAC and Aetna Inc.’s Political Contributions and Related Activity Report as annually updated. These two sections describe in detail the specific procedures and individuals involved in making Aetna PAC and corporate contribution decisions.
Aetna legislative and regulatory activities
Aetna is committed to supporting the development of sound public policy in health care. We work with many organizations across the political spectrum on a variety of health and other topics that impact our members, our customers, our providers, our industry, our employees, and the communities we serve. We engage with shareholders, policy experts and others to develop well-considered policies that reflect diverse perspectives.
We are a member of trade associations and coalitions that advocate for our industry and free enterprise, and we support policy development organizations and think tanks. Support for third-party organizations is guided by our Involvement Criteria. A list of the 501(c)(6) trade associations to which we contribute more than $50,000 annually can be found in our Political Contributions and Related Activity Report.
All payments are directed to promote the interests of the company and are made without regard to the political preferences of company officers and executives.
For more information about our 2013 Government Affairs Priorities, click here.
For more detail regarding our Involvement Criteria, click here.
Oversight of legislative, regulatory, and political activities
Role of the Aetna Board of Directors (acting on its own or through the Audit Committee)
Aetna management regularly discusses public policy issues with our Board of Directors, including government affairs priorities and political risks. Given the importance of public policy to our business in recent years every regularly scheduled board meeting has included an agenda item to address public policy matters.
In addition, our Board of Directors annually reviews the company’s list of Government Affairs Priorities, its Contributions Criteria, and its Involvement Criteria. The Board reviews the company’s Political Contribution and Related Activity Report prior to its publication and oversees compliance with policy and process. Further, our board reviews the independent audit reports of Aetna Inc. and the Aetna Political Action Committees.
Aetna policy on political contribution and related activity disclosure
Aetna has been recognized as a leader in its political contributions disclosure practices. In 2012, we were ranked 15th in the Center for Political Accountability Zicklin Index ranking of disclosure practices of the top 200 companies in the S&P 500 (based on revenue). This ranking was ahead of all of our managed health care competitors. Aetna complies with all state and federal laws regarding political contributions disclosure.
In addition, we make available an annual report, the Political Contributions and Related Activities Report, that lists all Aetna PAC and Aetna corporate contributions by name to state and federal candidates, political action committees and political party committees. The Company also reports all dues and special assessments paid to trade associations operating under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The report lists by name each such organization receiving dues or special assessments of more than $50,000 in a calendar year and indicates the portion of such dues considered to be nondeductible as lobbying and political expenses under applicable tax law.