Aetna Inc. is a diversified healthcare benefits company as well as one of the largest managed care companies in the U.S. It offers traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life, and disability plans, and medical and healthcare management services. Among its historical highlights: It insured the Manhattan Project and also the lives of the first seven American astronauts in 1963.
Chief executive Ronald A. Williams has spoken out in favor of health-care reform. With the purchase of plan operator Schaller Anderson, the company signalled its push into the growing business of running plans for Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Mr. Williams is also a supporter of using technology to boost business efficiency. One new effort is a partnership with Microsoft's HealthVault to let enrollees create an online personal health record. And Aetna came out on top of a 2008 list of big health insurers by athenahealth Inc. that ranked how quickly and accurately they paid doctor bills.