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Aetna Offers Employee Assistance Program alongside Long Term Disability Insurance Plans; EAP Offered to Help Members Deal with Difficult Financial and Emotional Challenges of Lengthy Disability.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Aetna (NYSE:AET) today announced that it is automatically offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) alongside its long term disability insurance plans for employers with 51 or more employees and members insured through Aetna's Association and Affinity programs. An EAP is an employer-sponsored program that helps people balance the demands of work, life and personal issues. The company's offering of an EAP program alongside its long term disability insurance plans is an effort to help employers reduce sick leave and work-related accidents, while helping employees return to work faster.

"Aetna's research suggests that there is a direct link between depression and the length of time a member is disabled," said Eric Reisenwitz, head of Aetna Disability and Leave Management Services. "These findings, as well as the fact that a disability can impact the whole family, spurred Aetna to offer our insured long term disability members and their families an employee assistance program to meet their behavioral health needs. By addressing these needs, we can help improve the quality of life for employees and better manage overall medical costs faced by employers."

Benefits to Members

The addition of an EAP helps members and their families coping with the often difficult financial and emotional challenges of a lengthy disability. The EAP is available to all members and their families, not just members who are currently receiving long term disability benefits. Aetna's EAP can help members access professional help to address stressful life events before the event causes a stress-related disability.

Members who call the toll-free EAP line can speak to a trained professional who will confidentially help a member assess their needs and provide referrals to local resources including psychologists, marriage and family therapists and substance abuse counselors. In addition, members can access information online by visiting the EAP website, www.aetnaeap.com.

Benefits to Employers

Employers have access to a variety of resources including unlimited telephonic consultation for managers and supervisors, annual EAP utilization reports from Aetna Behavioral Health and seamless coordination with other benefit programs. Employers also have the option to purchase an enhanced program that offers access to a national network of financial consultants and attorneys who can provide one-on-one counseling. The enhanced EAP offering also provides community resources for elder and child care services.

About Aetna Disability and Leave Management Services

Aetna Disability and Leave Management Services is one of the leading providers of group disability plans, serving more than 5 million Americans through 2,200 employers. In this area, Aetna is at the forefront of proven, clinically-focused return to work and leave management programs that are easy to use, comprehensive and yet flexible enough to optimize the productivity and financial security of our customers regardless of size and location. Aetna has also pioneered the innovative Integrated Health and Disability (IHD) model. This service, which is free for employers who have both health and disability plans with Aetna, optimizes employee health and productivity by coordinating, with member consent, Aetna's Medical Case Management program, Aetna's Behavioral Health services, Aetna Disability and the data integration capabilities of Aetna Integrated Informatics. Disability products are administered or insured by Aetna Life Insurance Company. http://www.aetna.com/groupinsurance/employers_disability_1.htm

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 28.3 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, long-term care 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. www.aetna.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 24, 2006
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