NU Online News Service, Dec. 13, 9:17 a.m. – Aetna Inc., Hartford, announced today it will spend $125 million to cut 6,000 jobs.

Aetna now employs 43,000 people.

Aetna hopes to achieve 1,600 of the cuts through attrition.

Aetna begin laying employees off this fall, and it expects to lay off more employees throughout 2002, the company says.

The layoffs are being made “to properly align our business resources with lower membership levels and our stated goal of emphasizing profitability over size,” says Aetna Chairman John Rowe says.

Rowe says health membership levels in 2002 are expected to decline as a result of increases in prices and elimination of some commercial and Medicare health plans.

Aetna “must be sized to match the needs of our business,” Rowe says.