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Aetna Fights Its Own Insurers

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A large health carrier is having trouble collecting from its insurers.

Aetna Inc., Hartford, reports in a notice filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that a Pennsylvania trial court has issued a summary judgment dismissing all of the claims Aetna has filed in an effort to collect about $72 million from a group of insurers that includes units of American International Group Inc., New York, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Boston.

Aetna is seeking reimbursement from its insurers for the cost of a May 2003 settlement that ended a class-action suit filed on behalf of 900,000 physicians who were angry about the way Aetna’s provider network had treated them.

The insurers say their Aetna policies do not cover the types of losses that Aetna suffered in connection with the settlement.

Aetna says it will continue to pursue legal action against the insurers but will take a $72 million charge in the second quarter to reflect the possibility that insurance payments may be difficult to collect.