Pay for about 10,000 Humana employees will be lifted to $16 an hour after the deal closes, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in written testimony submitted for a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday. That’s in line with wage minimums Bertolini set for U.S. workers at Aetna earlier this year. Next year, the company plans to cover a larger share of workers’ health care costs, based on income, Bertolini said, helping some save as much as $4,000 a year.
While the $16 minimum wage will benefit employees’ pocketbooks, Bertolini said he thinks it will also boost morale and keep workers from leaving. “Our hope is these initiatives will help reduce employee turnover.”
Aetna began paying all its low-wage U.S. workers at least $16 an hour in April, which benefited about 5,700 people and in some cases increased wages by a third, Bertolini said.