NU Online News Service, Sept. 17, 2003, 4:34 p.m. EDT – The federal Office of Personnel Management has agreed to include Aetna HealthFund, a defined contribution health program from Aetna Inc., Hartford, in 10 markets in 2004 through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

The FEHBP provides health coverage for 3 million public employees and retirees. Its open enrollment runs from Nov. 10 to Dec. 8.

The Aetna HealthFund program combines high-deductible health insurance, first-dollar coverage for preventive care, a preferred provider network and health reimbursement arrangements.

Aetna introduced the Aetna HealthFund program in 2001.

The markets where the defined contribution program will be available are Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Connecticut, New Jersey, northern California, southern California and a region that includes Baltimore, northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The FEHBP also will expand access to the traditional Aetna health maintenance organization plan to 22 markets, from 12. Aetna now provides HMO coverage for about 265,000 FEHBP members.