|HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 13, 2004--Aetna (NYSE:AET) today announced it has introduced a new and expanded Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Aetna Behavioral Health (ABH) to help boost productivity in the workplace. It has sold the new service to seven small to mid-sized firms throughout the U.S.
"Aetna began offering its Employee Assistance Program July 1 to meet the changing work/life issues of our customers," said Mary C. Fox, head of ABH.
"Everyone is facing additional stress in both their professional and personal lives, pressures that are illustrated by the steady growth of EAPs during the past decade. This program responds to those increasing pressures."
A recent report by Open Minds, a national behavioral health publication, shows EAP program membership has grown by 194% since 1993, with enrollment of 80.2 million people as of 2002/2003. Other studies on behavioral health illnesses like depression have documented a negative impact on workplace productivity. One study, by Otis, Attridge and Riedel, a consulting group, concluded that 77% of employees receiving EAP counseling reported they were more productive at work.
The Aetna EAP offers counseling, information and referral services for issues such as stress management, depression, addictions, personal finances, child care, adoption, parenting, elder care, geriatric management services and academic services. In addition, the company will provide an interactive Web site that will answer commonly asked questions and provide information to members with specific needs.
"This program is integral to Aetna's goal of helping plan sponsors better manage total medical cost, while improving their employees' quality of life," Fox said.
"The availability of these life management and wellness programs will strengthen and expand our already strong services to members."
ABH has added staff and established a client call-center in Hartford to manage the new service. ABH has also signed a two-year contract with LifeCare Inc. to provide work/life services, rounding out the EAP product suite.
The EAP will complement Aetna's behavioral health services, which are contracted through Magellan Health Services. Magellan and Aetna recently have established three Aetna-branded behavioral health service centers throughout the U.S. to provide members with high-quality service.
ABH is part of Aetna's Specialty Products business, which also includes Aetna Dental, Aetna Pharmacy Management, Aetna Group Insurance and other businesses.
As one of the nation's leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 13.3 million medical members, 11.2 million dental members, 8.1 million pharmacy members and 12.4 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 618,000 health care professionals, including over 370,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 3,783 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.aetna.com. (Figures as of March 31, 2004)