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.”
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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.