Aetna, Inc. (NYSE: AET) is an American diversified health care benefits company, providing a range of traditional and consumer directed health care insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life, long-term care, and disability plans, and medical management capabilities. Aetna is a member of the Fortune 100.
Aetna is the direct descendant of Aetna Insurance Company, of Hartford, Connecticut, which issued its first life insurance policy in 1850.
In 1867, Aetna issued its first farm mortgage loan; in addition to farm mortgage's Aetna provided insurance to slave holders for their slaves. By 1924, Aetna had $94 million, representing 43 percent of its assets, invested in farm mortgages. It ended this line of business in 1947.
In 1960, the company expanded outside the U.S., buying a Canadian company, Excelsior Life Insurance Company. In 1968, it bought a majority interest in Producer's and Citizen's Cooperative Assurance Company, of Sydney, Australia. In 1981, it bought a 40 percent interest in two Chilean companies, and soon thereafter invested in ventures in England, Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Korea.
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