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Aetna Launches New Vision Product

-- Aetna VisionSM Preferred offers members access to one of the largest vision networks in the U.S. --

Thursday, May 6, 2010 12:09 pm EDT

Dateline:

HARTFORD, Conn.
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Public Company Information:

NYSE:
AET
US0081171037
"The introduction of this new product expands Aetna’s current portfolio of vision offerings to help our members access routine eye exams and corrective eyewear at affordable prices"

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that it has launched a new vision benefits product called Aetna VisionSM Preferred. Members of the new vision plans will have access to one of the largest vision networks in the country and can save an average of 40 percent off retail prices for routine eye exams and eyewear. Aetna continues its collaboration with EyeMed Vision Care, a national vision benefits company, to offer this product to customers.

“The introduction of this new product expands Aetna’s current portfolio of vision offerings to help our members access routine eye exams and corrective eyewear at affordable prices,” said Alan Hirschberg, Aetna’s head of Dental and Vision. “Recent studies show that regular, comprehensive eye exams lead to the early detection and treatment of serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma. Plus, eye exams can reveal the warning signs of many serious health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.”1

Aetna Vision Preferred works like a medical benefits plan that includes member copays and allowances for exam services and corrective eyewear, while still extending negotiated discounts for noncovered products and services. Aetna Vision Preferred members can receive the most cost-effective care when they visit one of the more than 38,000 participating vision providers across the country, including both independent eye doctors and the leading optical retailers LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target Optical®, Sears Optical and JCPenney Optical. Out-of-network benefits are included in all plans.

Aetna Vision Preferred plans are currently available to larger employers. Aetna expects to expand access to other customer segments later this year. The vision program can be customized with a wide range of benefit levels and copays. It can also be offered on a stand-alone basis or with other Aetna health care products.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.1 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 and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com and Aetna's Annual Report at www.aetna.com/2009annualreport.

About EyeMed Vision Care

EyeMed Vision Care is one of the nation’s leading vision benefits organizations, with 140 million participants, including more than 25 million funded lives, through more than 6,000 employers, health care companies and membership organizations across the United States. Choice and convenience drive EyeMed's unique commitment to eye health and vision wellness as it works with its plan sponsors to incorporate vision as part of an overall health care benefits program. EyeMed members have access to thousands of private practice and retail-affiliated doctors and dispensing locations nationwide.

1 Piasecki M. Communication is critical. Clinical communication handbook. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science, 2003:1-7.

Contact:

Aetna
Kate Prout, 215-348-2691
ProutKF@aetna.com