Aetna Inc. History

151 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06156-0001

Telephone: (860) 273-0123
Toll Free: 800-872-3862
Fax: (860) 273-3971

Public Company
Incorporated: 1982 as United States Health Care Systems, Inc.
Employees: 27,548
Total Assets: $40.95 billion (2003)
Stock Exchanges: New York
Ticker Symbol: AET
NAIC: 524114 Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers; 524113 Direct Life Insurance Carriers

Company Perspectives:

Aetna is dedicated to helping people achieve health and financial security by providing easy access to safe, cost-effective, high-quality health care and protecting their finances against health-related risks. Building on our 150-year heritage, Aetna will be a leader, cooperating with doctors and hospitals, employers, patients, public officials and others to build a stronger, more effective health care system.

Key Dates:

Aetna Life Insurance Company is incorporated in Connecticut, with Eliphalet Bulkeley serving as founding president.
The company diversifies into accident insurance.
Aetna enters the field of health insurance.
A group department is formed to sell group life insurance.
The first group hospitalization policy is offered.
Aetna enters the international market by purchasing Toronto-based Excelsior Life Insurance Company.
Aetna Life & Casualty Company is created as a holding company, with these subsidiaries: Aetna Life Insurance Company, Aetna Casualty and Surety, Standard Fire Insurance, and the Automobile Insurance Company.
The company's stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
A health maintenance organization (HMO) subsidiary is created.
Aetna reorganizes into five insurance divisions: employees benefits division, personal/financial/security division, commercial insurance division, American Re-Insurance Company, and international insurance division.
American Re-Insurance is divested for $1.31 billion.
Aetna sells its property-casualty operations to Travelers Group for $4.1 billion; company pays $8.9 billion for HMO provider U.S. Healthcare, Inc., which is renamed Aetna U.S. Healthcare Inc.; parent company Aetna Life & Casualty is renamed Aetna Inc.
The U.S. individual life insurance business is sold to Lincoln National Corporation.
Aetna acquires the healthcare business of the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
Aetna Inc. spins Aetna U.S. Healthcare off to its shareholders; the remnants of Aetna--the company's international and financial services units--are acquired by ING Groep N.V. for about $7.75 billion; Aetna U.S. Healthcare is renamed Aetna Inc.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • "Aetna: A Long Way to the Recovery Room," Business Week, July 16, 2001, p. 56.
  • "Aetna Chairman Details New Direction," Wall Street Journal, April 3, 1996.
  • "Aetna Explodes," Economist, March 18, 2000, p. 79.
  • "Aetna: Where Group Management Didn't Work," Business Week, February 16, 1976, p. 77.
  • Anders, George, "Aetna Will Sell Unit to KKR for $1.4 Billion," Wall Street Journal, June 9, 1992, p. A2.
  • Benko, Laura B., "Makeover at Aetna Lags," Modern Healthcare, March 18, 2002, p. 38.
  • Brady, Diane, "Aetna's Painful Recovery," Business Week, December 8, 2003, pp. 86-88.
  • ------, "The Volcano Behind Aetna: Under Jack Rowe, It's a Force for Health-Care Reform," Business Week, June 9, 2003, pp. 98, 102.
  • David, Gregory E., "Opportunity Knocks," Financial World, April 12, 1994, pp. 42+.
  • Gentry, Carol, "Aetna's Shares Catch Cold from Its New Health Unit," Wall Street Journal, September 29, 1999, p. B4.
  • ------, "As Aetna's Woes Pile Up, Its Chairman Is Under Fire," Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2000, p. B1.
  • Gentry, Carol, and Nikhil Deogun, "Aetna to Split into Two Separate Businesses," Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2000, p. A4.
  • Gorham, John, "Train Wreck in Hartford," Forbes, March 6, 2000, pp. 70-71.
  • Hardman, Adrienne, "Reinventing Aetna," Financial World, November 24, 1992, pp. 22+.
  • Hooker, Richard, Aetna Life Insurance Company: Its First Hundred Years, A History, Hartford, Conn.: Aetna Life Insurance Company, 1956.
  • Jackson, Susan, "Aetna's Brave Old World," Business Week, March 30, 1998, p. 180.
  • King, Resa W., and Marc Frons, "How Government Groomed Jim Lynn for Aetna," Business Week, June 2, 1986, pp. 54+.
  • Lagnado, Lucette, "Personality Change: Old-Line Aetna Adopts Managed-Care Tactics and Stirs a Backlash," Wall Street Journal, July 29, 1998, p. A1.
  • Lagnado, Lucette, and Joann Lublin, "Hospital Chief Picked to Revive Distressed Aetna," Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2000, p. B1.
  • Levick, Diane, "Another Adventure Beckons," Hartford Courant, August 11, 1997.
  • "Listening to Its Own Drummer," Forbes, August 17, 1981, pp. 34+.
  • Lohse, Deborah, "Aetna to Sell Some Assets to Lincoln," Wall Street Journal, May 22, 1998, p. A3.
  • Loomis, Carol J., "Behind the Profits Grow at Aetna," Fortune, November 15, 1982, pp. 54+.
  • Martinez, Barbara, "Aetna to Announce Settlement with Physicians," Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2003, p. A3.
  • ------, "Aetna to Expand Its Catalog of Health-Plan Products," Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2001, p. B8.
  • ------, "Making Amends: Aetna Tries to Improve Bedside Manner in Bid to Help Bottom Line," Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2001, p. A1.
  • "Profit Pains at the New Aetna," Business Week, August 1, 1983, pp. 50+.
  • Rifkin, Glenn, "Reengineering Aetna," Forbes, June 7, 1993, pp. 78+.
  • Roush, Chris, "Aetna's Heavy Ax," Business Week, February 14, 1994, p. 32.
  • Rublin, Lauren R., "Temperature Rising," Barron's, March 27, 2000, pp. 21-22.
  • Scism, Leslie, "Aetna to Buy New York Health Unit," Wall Street Journal, March 16, 1998, p. A3.
  • ------, "Travelers Stock Jumps on Plan to Buy Aetna Unit," Wall Street Journal, November 30, 1995, p. A3.
  • Smart, Tim, "Moving Mount Aetna: What It Will Take to Make the U.S. Healthcare Merger Pay," Business Week, February 10, 1997, p. 100.
  • Smart, Tim, and Keith H. Hammonds, "Aetna's Booster Shot: An $8.9 Billion Merger Makes It No. 1 in Managed Care," Business Week, April 15, 1996, pp. 41+.
  • Smart, Tim, and Richard A. Melcher, "The Floodwaters Rise Around Aetna," Business Week, June 5, 1995, p. 110.
  • Steinmetz, Greg, "Aetna Revamps, Taking a Charge of $1.28 Billion," Wall Street Journal, January 31, 1994, p. A3.
  • Treaster, Joseph B., "Aetna Agreement with Doctors Envisions Altered Managed Care," New York Times, May 23, 2003, p. A1.
  • Winslow, Ron, "Aetna to Acquire Prudential Health Unit," Wall Street Journal, December 11, 1998, p. A3.
  • Winslow, Ron, and Leslie Scism, "Aetna Agrees to Acquire U.S. Healthcare," Wall Street Journal, April 2, 1996, p. A2.
  • Winslow, Ron, Leslie Scism, and Elyse Tanouye, "Aetna Hopes for Breath of New Life from Acquisition," Wall Street Journal, April 3, 1996, p. B4.
  • Wojcik, Joanne, "Aetna's Shift to Health Focus Brings Struggles," Business Insurance, August 13, 2001, p. 1.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.63. St. James Press, 2004.