Aetna Board Authorizes New Share Repurchase Program

HARTFORD, Conn., September 24, 2004 ― Aetna Inc. (NYSE: ΑET) today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the company to repurchase from time to time up to $750 million of its common stock. This authorization is in addition to the $380 million remaining under Aetna’s prior share repurchase program announced in April 2004.

The company intends to continue buying shares from time to time using available cash, including proceeds from employee stock option exercises. The weighted average diluted shares outstanding for the third quarter of 2004 is projected to be approximately 158 million shares.

As one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 13.4 million medical members, 11.4 million dental members, 8.1 million pharmacy members and 12.6 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 633,000 health care professionals, including over 377,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 3,866 hospitals. For more information, please visit (Figures as of June 30, 2004)

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