NU Online News Service, July 29, 2004, 7:04 p.m. EDT

Aetna Inc., Hartford, might be the first health insurer that is including information about consumer-driven health plan sales in its quarterly earnings releases.[@@]

Aetna says it ended the second quarter with 197,000 Aetna HealthFund consumer-driven plan members, up from 40,000 a year earlier.

The company as a whole is reporting $286 million in net income for the latest quarter on $4.9 billion in revenue, compared with $138 million in net income on $4.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

The consumer-driven plans, which depend on the use of health reimbursement arrangements and other types of personal care accounts, make up only a small part of the company’s operations. The company insured or administered health coverage for 13.4 million U.S. residents June 30, up from 13 million a year earlier.

So far, though, results at the HealthFund plans seem to be validating Aetna’s decision to enter that market category, Aetna executives say.