On Friday, the first wave of Aetna employees will leave the company to take an early retirement package. The buyout was announced in late July and was designed to “enhance our productivity and optimize our cost structure,” said Joseph M. Zubretsky, Aetna’s CFO. It is unknown how many employees were offered the buyout package or how many accepted, although the program is expected to eliminate several hundred jobs in Connecticut, where Aetna’s company headquarters are located.

Aetna has been a relatively stable company over the past five years, although membership numbers dropped from 18.6 million in June 2010 to 18.2 million this past June.

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