Study Names Aetna U.S. Healthcare HMO Quality Leader In Metropolitan Atlanta Area

Hartford, Conn. and Blue Bell, PA, October 24, 1996 — (NYSE: AET) Aetna Health Plans of Georgia Inc., a health maintenance organization of Aetna U.S. Healthcare, has been chosen as the 1996 Quality Leader in the Atlanta metropolitan area by the National Research Corporation (NRC), a Lincoln, Neb.-based firm that specializes in health care performance assessment. Atlanta-area consumers ranked Aetna Health Plans of Georgia No. 1 in terms of quality.

“We are honored to be selected as the National Research Corporation’s 1996 Quality Leader in Atlanta,” said Joseph Wild, Aetna U.S. Healthcare general manager for the Atlanta market. “It is especially gratifying to receive this endorsement from the people we most need to please — our HMO members.”

The Aetna U.S. Healthcare plan was honored following a nationally syndicated study of nearly 170,000 households, representing more than 400,000 covered individuals. The study, published in the 1996 NRC Healthcare Market Guide, details performance specifics on 384 HMOs. Consumers in the 48 contiguous states, and in more than 100 metropolitan areas, rated their primary health plans on overall satisfaction, administrative services, access, benefits and cost.

“Many health care organizations have invested a great deal of time and effort in providing consumers with clinical report cards of their performance. Yet, consumers tend to want to know what other people have to say about the care and services delivered by each organization,” said NRC President Michael Hays. “We’re recognizing the health plans, health systems and hospitals nationwide that have shown themselves to be the market leaders on the attributes consumers equate with quality.”

The NRC Healthcare Market Guide, now in its sixth edition, is an annually conducted study generating market and satisfaction data on health plans, physicians, hospitals, health care systems and community health assessment. The study is the first industry measure to include all the satisfaction components of the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s annual member health care survey. NRC was the first to introduce performance norms to the health care industry, and has conducted more satisfaction studies for health care organizations than any other firm.

Aetna U.S. Healthcare provides a full spectrum of managed care, indemnity and group insurance products on a risk and non-risk basis to more than 23 million Americans. The company’s Southeast region, headquartered in Atlanta, covers more than 2.2 million members in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. It is one of six regions established by the company to better meet the needs of its customers in each local market.

For more information about Aetna Inc., please visit the company’s website at www.aetna.com.