Federal Court Approves Historic Agreement Between Aetna and Doctors

Transparency and business practice improvements highlight “New Era of Cooperation”

HARTFORD, Conn. and MIAMI, October 24 , 2003 — A U.S. Federal Court today approved an historic agreement between Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) and representatives of nearly 1 million doctors. The ruling, issued today by Judge Federico Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami), settles a national class action that has been pending before the Court for more than three years. Today’s ruling affirms the significance of Aetna’s agreement, noting, “the benefits available directly to the Class represent an excellent result....”

“The Court’s decision to ratify this industry-leading agreement endorses a new era of cooperation between Aetna and physicians,” said John W. Rowe, M.D., Aetna chairman and CEO. “Our ongoing business practice initiatives and heightened levels of transparency will give physicians and their office staffs more time to focus on their central mission – providing health care to patients. This agreement will reduce administrative complexity and lead to changes in the health care system that will ultimately benefit patients.”

“From this day forward physicians and their patients will find it much easier to navigate what was unfortunately a hostile and complex managed care system,” said Tim Norbeck, executive director of the Connecticut State Medical Society. “Today’s finalization of Aetna’s agreement with physicians is the first important step toward making the health care system more responsive to physicians and their patients and we intend to build on this step.”

“Our physicians are extremely pleased with today’s result,” noted Catherine Hanson, vice president and General Counsel of the California Medical Association. “Working together we have taken a great step forward for the benefit of everyone involved in the health care delivery system.”

Details of the agreement, including provisions and a progress report on business practice and other initiatives are available at www.aetna.com/legal_issues/suits/agreement.html.

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading providers of heath care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care products, serving more than 13 million medical members, 11.3 million dental members, and 11.7 million group insurance customers, as of June 30, 2003. The company has expansive nationwide networks of more than 579,000 health care services providers, including nearly 349,000 primary care and specialist physicians, and 3,589 hospitals. For more information about Aetna, please visit the company’s web site at www.aetna.com.

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) is a federation of eight component county medical associations, with a total membership exceeding 7,000 physicians. CSMS itself is a constituent state entity of the American Medical Association. Founded by the physician-patriots of the American Revolution, the Society operates from a heritage of democratic principles embodied in its Charter and Bylaws.

The California Medical Association is the professional organization of 35,000 California physicians, representing all modes of practice and specialties.

Copyright Aetna Inc.