#Third largest U.S. health insurer#state-based exchanges#em

Aetna Inc aims to be part of 15 healthcare exchanges

Third largest U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc said it aims to be part of about 15 healthcare exchanges being set up under government reforms. The health ...

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|Dec 13|magazine4 min read

Third largest U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc said it aims to be part of about 15 healthcare exchanges being set up under government reforms.

The health insurer said it believes that an increase in the number of customers from the new market places will contribute to its growth.

An estimated 30 million more people are anticipated to join the insured over the next decade because of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010.

The states have until December 14 to decide whether they will participate in a state-based, federal or partnership exchange.

Further, about 18 states have said they will create their own state-based exchanges and 18 others plan to default a federal exchange. According to Aetna executives, the shift to exchanges is fundamentally changing the managed care business.  

Mark Bertolini, CEO said, “More and more consumers are going to be buying their healthcare, even if the employer-sponsored system survives.”  Aetna also said, the profits will be helped by cost controls and the growth of carefully managed care companies, networks of doctors that work together and the expansion in government programs, such as Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. 

The U.S health insurer expects the earnings of $5.40 a share in 2013, below the analyst estimates of $5.52 a share.  Aetna said it expects the deal to close in the middle of next year. Aetna’s outlook is based on the cautious view of the economy and one in which unemployment remains at about 7..5% and interest rate returns remain extremely low.

Aetna Inc, is an American managed health care company providing consumer directed health care insurance products and services including medical, pharmaceutical, detal, behavioral health, group life, long-term care and medical management capabilities.