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Aetna to Help Members Quit Tobacco with New Tobacco Cessation Program.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- As the American Cancer Society celebrates the 30th annual Great American Smokeout[R] this week, Aetna (NYSE:AET) today announced the availability of the new Aetna Quit Tobacco program. The Quit Tobacco program is a voluntary, one-year program that offers personal coaching and support by certified tobacco cessation specialists.

The Quit Tobacco program is a new addition to the 2007 Aetna Health Connections(SM) Wellness Resources portfolio. It focuses on education, motivation, planning and accountability to help members make the necessary behavior changes to get and stay tobacco-free. The program is administered by Healthyroads(TM), a division of American Specialty Health. It will be staffed by a team that includes registered nurses, dieticians and certified tobacco cessation treatment specialists.

"Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing nearly 440,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $75 billion in direct medical costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said Patricia Mueller, MD, head of Medical Operations for Aetna. "The Quit Tobacco program is an ideal choice for plan sponsors who recognize the health risks associated with tobacco use and are seeking a tobacco cessation program to complement their wellness initiatives."

All Quit Tobacco program participants will receive the following (at no charge to them):

* Personal counseling, including a welcome call, a general assessment session, a pre-quit telephone session and up to four motivational coaching sessions per month.

* Support Services, including a Tobacco Cessation Program Manual, a Guide to Healthy Living booklet, supplemental nutrition and exercise guides, exercise and meal planning, diet analysis and online tools and trackers.

* Awards and Rewards, including a Get Started! Kit, which supplies participants with a 6-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy (patch, lozenge or gum) once they complete the health status questionnaire, kickoff session, general assessment, and one coaching session. In addition, the Share Results! reward offers a voucher for $35 for Healthyroads products to members who complete a second Health Status Questionnaire at the end of the year long program.

To be eligible to participate in the Quit Tobacco program, members must have the program included as part of their benefits package. It will be available for purchase by plan sponsor customers who offer an Aetna HealthFund([R])or PPO-based plan. The program will begin on January 1, 2007. Members will be able to opt in to the voluntary, one-year program in one of two ways - by logging in to Aetna Navigator[TM], the company's secure member website - or by calling a toll-free telephone number.

The Quit Tobacco program joins the Aetna Health Connections(SM) family of medical management programs and services, which help members achieve and maintain their personal best health. Through these services, Aetna takes an innovative, personalized, holistic approach to supporting member health, providing useful information to help members make smarter decisions about their health and health care.

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 29.8 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans and government-sponsored plans.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 13, 2006
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