Aetna Marks 150th Anniversary With Pride in its Past and an Eye on the Future

HARTFORD, Conn., January 9, 2003 — This year marks Aetna’s (NYSE: ΑET) 150th year in business. From its origins in a small office in downtown Hartford, Conn., in 1853, to its status today as one of the country’s premier providers of health care, dental, disability, long-term care and group life benefits, Aetna’s history has been one of change and innovation, as well as some important firsts.

Aetna will mark its anniversary throughout 2003 via a series of internal activities specifically designed to draw upon the company’s rich past and dynamic future.

Anniversary plans include an exhibit of historic artifacts from the company’s vast archives, special feature stories on the employee website designed to highlight company "firsts," profiles of its oldest customers, celebrations for several of the company’s illustrious employees, a cross-country cake-cutting ceremony in mid-June to mark the actual anniversary date (June 14), ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on June 16 and much more.

"Not many corporations in America can claim a 150-year history," said Aetna Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe, M.D. "Our employees have reason to be proud of our company’s heritage as we work together to make the future bright for all our key constituents - customers, employees, shareholders, and the physicians and hospitals with whom we do business."

To kick off the anniversary year, special banners are being displayed in Aetna offices throughout the country. Corporate headquarters in Hartford has been draped with two 10’ X 30’ banners to help announce this special milestone to anyone who passes by the front or the back of the company’s imposing colonial-style structure.

The anniversary theme -- "Honoring our Past ... Embracing our Future" -- will be woven into all anniversary-related activities and historical displays to serve as a reminder of our proud past, as well as a springboard for the future.

Aetna’s 150-year history is rich with "firsts" among insurers and financial services companies, including:

1944 - Aetna becomes the first insurer to advertise on television.
1963 - Aetna becomes the first insurer in space by providing in-flight life coverage to the seven Mercury astronauts.
1966 - Aetna pays the first Medicare claim.
1987 - Aetna sells the industry’s first employer group long-term care plan.

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading providers of health care and related group benefits, serving approximately 13.9 million medical members, 11.9 million dental members and 11.7 million group insurance customers, as of September 30, 2002. The company has expansive nationwide networks of more than 539,000 health care service providers, including over 327,000 primary care and specialist physicians and 3,300 hospitals. For more information about Aetna Inc., please visit the company’s website at

Copyright Aetna Inc.