Aetna Offers a New Path to Productivity with Alternative Income Replacement Plan

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Aetna Abilities plan focuses on what an employee can do to safely stay at or return to work, and retain their sense of identity and main source of income

HARTFORD, Conn. – Loss of work due to illness or injury can impact not only an employee's financial well-being, but also his or her mental and emotional health. An employer, on the other hand, may experience productivity losses.

The Integrated Benefits Institute estimates that poor health and its impact on productivity costs the U.S. economy $576 billion per year. Aetna (NYSE: AET), a leader in medical and disability insurance, has an alternative solution to this growing health and economic concern.

The Aetna Abilities plan is a first of its kind income replacement plan. Designed for employers with robust return-to-work programs and strong commitments to employee health, the Aetna Abilities plan sets clear expectations that can help safely keep an employee working or return an employee to work.

Employees receive an individually tailored action plan based on their circumstances, as soon as there is a change in their ability to work due to injury, illness, or pregnancy. These can include a stay-at-work or return-to-work action plan, as appropriate.

Employees who choose not to engage in their action plan will receive a base benefit. Employees who engage in activities that support their productivity and well-being will earn a higher benefit. Employers select the level of benefits available to their employees when they make their plan decisions.

"The Aetna Abilities plan is one of the ways we are helping to build a healthier world," said Sandra Callahan, who leads Disability, Life and Long Term Care for Aetna. "By providing an employee with resources and support to engage in their well-being and recovery, we are working to help them return to work sooner or possibly even stay at work with a few accommodations. This can result in a better outcome for both the employee and the employer."

Regardless of whether employees choose to engage in their individually tailored action plans or not, Aetna will provide support that fits their specific situation. That could include working with them to update their skills for a new role at their company; supporting the issues they are facing in returning to work; or helping the employer modify it's worksite to support the employee's needs. If employees are unable to work and have met the action plan requirements developed uniquely for them under the Aetna Abilities plan, they will receive the level of financial support that aligns with their level of engagement in their action plan.

The Aetna Abilities plan is currently available to employers with 301+ lives and that are located in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Aetna expects to offer the Aetna Abilities plan in additional states in the coming months.

Aetna will continue to offer the valuable traditional short- and long-term disability plans that employers have come to expect. To learn more about Aetna's breadth of disability options, visit

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see

Aetna Contact:

Trasee Carr