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Rumor Mill: Aetna Leaving Connecticut?

January 25, 2017 By Staff
Rumor Mill: Aetna Leaving Connecticut?

Reports from the Hartford Courant and the Boston Globe suggest that, in the wake of a failed merger, health insurer Aetna may walk out Connecticut's door.

On Monday, a federal judge blocked a $37 billion merger between health insurers Aetna and Humana. Coupled with this failure are reports that Aetna is considering a departure from Connecticut, where it employs 6,000 people.

More from the Boston Globe:

Aetna’s leaders made it clear in 2015 that they hated a huge business tax increase in Connecticut, the same issue that helped persuade General Electric to head to Boston.

…Leaders in the Walsh and Baker administrations are eager to recruit Aetna to Massachusetts, of course. They were basically waiting for the merger to be resolved before they resume their efforts. They’ve got one key connection, at least: top Aetna executive Gary Loveman is based in Wellesley.

Now, the Hartford Courant takes a different approach, saying that the “loss of the deal with Humana … might take off the table, at least for now, the issue of a jobs exodus from Hartford.”

Still, the development was concerning enough to produce vague statements from Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) and Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford) on reaching out to Aetna.

It would not be the first time that Aetna considered leaving the state. In May 2016, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said the company’s “real estate is under review.” In June 2015, Aetna – in response to proposed tax hikes – released a statement saying it was considering looking elsewhere for a new headquarters. Roughly 12 percent of Aetna’s employees – 6,000 of around 50,000 – work in Hartford.