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Aetna income increases 38 percent in 2010 Posted: February 11th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

National insurer Aetna released Feb. 4 both fourth quarter and full-year financial results. While revenues for both the quarter and the year declined by two percent, the company still reported a 38 percent increase in net income to $1.77 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with $1.28 billion for the like period a year ago.

The company's results were buoyed by a strong fourth quarter for its group insurance business. Net income from group plans, including disability, long-term care and group life, was $24.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In a press release, Aetna's chairman Ronald A. Williams said, "Aetna's strong operating results in 2010 demonstrate the significant performance improvement we have made remaining disciplined while focusing on customer needs."

The insurance company has a membership of 18.5 million with the majority of subscribers insured through commercial health plans. The company also offers Medicaid and Medicare medical insurance.

In light of strong 2010 performance, Aetna projected 2011 operating earnings between $3.70 and $3.80 per share. To remain profitable in the face of rising health care costs, Aetna has worked to diversify holdings, acquiring health information firm Medicity and entering into service agreements with CVS Caremark and Vitality Re.