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Bank of America teams with Aetna on employee benefits

Bank of America will consolidate health and insurance benefits under one carrier beginning in 2009. The bank aims to simplify its medical plans to give the majority of plan participants new, company-funded healthcare accounts to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses; and offer improved financial support for new parents, child care and ongoing education.

Aetna will be the primary provider of health and insurance benefits for the bank as of January 1, 2009. The insurer will manage delivery of medical, dental, vision, leaves of absence, disability and life insurance programs for active and eligible U.S.-based associates and expatriates.

Steele Alphin, Bank of America's chief administrative officer, said having one national carrier will drive better integration, simplicity and efficiency for the bank and its employees, and enable the bank to preserve existing programs and offer new and enhanced benefits to employees.

Bank of America will also offer most employees earning less than $100,000 a year a new healthcare account that will provide an additional $600 to $1,200 a year to pay for healthcare expenses that are not covered by their medical plan.

More than 130,000 of the bank's employees will be eligible to participate. Associates must be covered by a bank plan to qualify for the accounts and the amount received depends on how many family members are covered under the Bank of America medical option chosen by the associate, the company said.

Bank of America will provide its employees with two simplified medical plan options. The options will enable employees to choose how they want to manage their healthcare budget.

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