NU Online News Service, Aug. 10, 4:56 p.m. – Definity Health, Minneapolis, says it has sold a defined contribution health program to Textron Inc., Providence, R.I.

Textron, a $13 billion manufacturer and financial services company, plans to test the concept by offering a defined contribution program to 1,700 of its 45,000 U.S. employees starting in January 2002.

Rather than adding the program to an existing menu of health coverage options, Textron will use the defined contribution program to replace its existing program, Definity says.

Textron will contribute a set amount of cash to a Personal Care Account for each participating employee. Employees can use account assets to pay for routine health expenses, or keep the assets if they have no need to use the assets to pay medical bills. A catastrophic health insurance policy will kick in if medical bills drain the account and costs rise over the annual deductible limit, Definity says.