Aetna Inc. (ticker: AET, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Juggling Expenses and Making Ends Meet: Today's Young Workforce May be Shortchanging Their Health Care - Video Available
Aetna and the Financial Planning Association Launch
allaboutthebenefits.com to Increase Health Benefits Literacy
Among the Fastest-Growing Uninsured Population
HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey reveals
that when it comes to their financial priorities, today's young workforce is
focused on cell phone bills, credit card payments and savings accounts, and
that health benefits are not a top concern. The survey of more than 1,000
employed men and women ages 18 to 24 found that 44 percent would rather pay
their monthly cell phone bill than pay a health benefits premium. While young
adults are taking some of the right steps, health benefits must be a
consideration for the fastest-growing group of uninsured Americans. Roughly 30
percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are uninsured in the United States.
To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:
According to the survey, young workers have set their financial priorities
in areas other than health benefits coverage. Instead of paying for health
benefits, 70 percent would rather contribute a portion of their monthly
earnings to paying down credit card debt, building their savings accounts or
contributing to their 401k. What they don't account for are unexpected
accidents. The survey found that of the uninsured young workers who recently
had an accident, injury or illness that required medical attention, 91 percent
wished they had been insured at the time of the incident.
In response, Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Financial Planning Association(R)
(FPA(R)), have launched All About the Benefits, an educational program
designed to make health benefits a priority, and provide young workers with
the knowledge and confidence they need to make informed health benefits
decisions as they enter the workforce. The new program is an expansion of Plan
for Your Health, an existing public education program sponsored by Aetna and
"As the fastest growing uninsured population, young adults need the right
resources to better understand the options available for their individual
needs," said Caroline Wilke, University Relations Lead for Aetna. "We feel
that it's important to educate this audience early on the value of health
benefits in ways that they can relate to most. All About the Benefits provides
video clips, audio profiles and an informative podcast to help young adults
make decisions while providing some entertainment along the way."
Often dropped from their existing coverage (under their parents' plan,
Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program) at age 19, or when
they graduate from high school or college, young adults are left to find
health benefits coverage on their own as they transition from high school or
college to the workforce. According to the survey, young workers are not in a
rush to sign up for a health plan. In fact, 46 percent of young workers
without insurance say they will enroll when they can afford it and 31 percent
will enroll when they get a job that offers benefits. But it's clear that this
group values their health benefits when it comes to feeling and looking their
best. Of the young workers with health benefits, 85 percent said dental care
was the most valuable, ranking it above vision, counseling/therapy and smoking
cessation classes offered by health benefits plans.
The interactive website, http://www.allaboutthebenefits.com, guides young
workers through typical experiences with information and real world examples -
- graduating from high school or college, interviewing and starting a new job
and budgeting for new expenses. Allaboutthebenefits.com focuses on topics such
* Bridging from their parents' or college's health plan to their own
* Asking questions about health benefits during a job interview
* Making sense of health benefits options
* Translating insurance lingo
* Budgeting for health expenses
"We found that more than half of young workers are comfortable exploring
health benefits information on the Internet, similar to the percentage that
are willing to shop and bank online," said Tracey Baker, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL
PLANNER(TM) professional. "Allaboutthebenefits.com puts things into
perspective for this group -- health plans are worth looking into because
enrolling adds a safety net to protect their health and their finances."
Additional Survey Data
Results from the survey demonstrate young adults need more health benefits
education. Highlights include:
* The young workforce reported a lack of confidence in finding health
benefits in the following common situations:
-- if they become unemployed (35 percent);
-- if their employer does not offer health benefits (31 percent);
-- if they return to school (25 percent).
* Forty-seven percent of young workers who are covered under their
parents' plan don't know what kind of plan they have.
* Nearly one-third (30 percent) of the young workforce depend on their
parents for help when choosing health benefits.
* Young workers think 64 percent, or six out of every 10 people, they know
are confused about health benefits.
* Forty-six percent of the young workforce say earning a higher salary is
the most important thing they focus on when job hunting.
-- Only eight percent rank health benefits as their top priority when
looking for jobs.
* Fifty-eight percent of the young workforce surveyed say they reviewed
their health benefits package for 30 minutes or less upon enrolling in a
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits
companies, serving approximately 29.9 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. http://www.aetna.com
About the Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) connects those who need, support
and deliver financial planning. FPA believes that everyone is entitled to
objective advice from a competent, ethical financial planner to make smart
financial decisions. FPA members demonstrate and support a professional
commitment to education and a client-centered financial planning process.
About Plan for Your Health
Plan for Your Health, a public education campaign from Aetna and the
Financial Planning Association, gives consumers the information they need to
make health benefits and financial choices that meet their needs now and in
the future. The Web site focuses on five life events when women need to re-
examine their health benefits -- career, marriage, family, living single and
retirement -- and offers consumer-friendly tools, tips and content that
support well-informed decision-making. For more information, please visit
About the Survey
Ipsos Public Affairs conducted a web-based study on behalf of Aetna and
the Financial Planning Association. Reflected in this research is the
participation of 1,016 young professionals, ages 18-24 who are employed at
least part-time. The margin of error for a sample size of 1,016 respondents is
+/-3.1%. This means that for any given percentage within this report, the true
percentage range is within +/-3.1% of that reported 95% of the time.
Interviews were completed from July 14 through July 26, 2006.
/CONTACT: Noelle Perillo, +1-202-835-7289, email@example.com,
/Web site: http://www.aetna.com