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In 1850, Aetna Insurance Company organizes an Annuity Fund to sell life insurance. Aetna Insurance Company turns to a Hartford, Conn., judge, Eliphalet A. Bulkeley, who was a general counsel to the company and also on its board of directors. Judge Bulkeley had been the president of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, which was, when founded in 1846, the first life insurance company in Connecticut. He was chosen to head the Annuity Fund operation, and in the summer of 1850, the department commences business.
Aetna is one of the nation's leaders in health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability, and long-term care insurance and employee benefits. Dedicated to helping people achieve health and financial security, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its members to help them make better-informed decisions about their health care. Their focus is on meeting customers’ needs. They are introducing innovative products, delivering strong customer service and providing easy to understand information.
Aetna begins offering participating life insurance policies, this product, which paid dividends to policyholders just as the mutual did, gives Aetna the ability to better compete in the marketplace. Aetna launches its new product with an aggressive promotional effort, which includes higher commission rates for agents. This shift in strategy caught the industry by surprise. With the outbreak of the Civil War, many companies were thinking of retrenching, not expansion. But the devastation of the battlefields combined with a prosperous wartime economy to spark a surge in life insurance purchases. As the war closed, Aetna was one of the nation's leading life insurers.
Aetna enters the field of health insurance. It wasn't until the turn of the century when larger insurance companies, with the statistical bases to set adequate pricing levels and the sales forces capable of spreading risk, enter the field, and health insurance becomes a part of the industry. Aetna begins offering liability coverage’s. As the nation's industrial base grew more complex, and the Progressive social reform movement gained political momentum, Aetna responds by organizing an Accident and Liability department in 1902 to handle employers' liability and workmen's collective insurance.
Aetna provides benefits through employers in all 50 states, with products and services targeted specifically to small, mid-sized and large multi-site national employers. Aetna also serves individuals and Medicare beneficiaries in certain markets.

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