Some 5,700 employees of Aetna Inc., the health insurance provider, will see their wages rise to $16 an hour as the company prepares to become “a much more consumer-oriented business” with “a better and more informed work force,” according to CEO Mark T. Bertolini.
Chalk part of the company’s decision up to Obamacare, as Aetna now finds itself more actively involved in the individual insurance market.
Aetna’s move follows closely on the heels of decisions by Gap Inc., Ikea and Starbucks Corp., among others, to elevate base wages.
The 5,700 affected Aetna workers, who currently receive the minimum wage in the state where they work, will receive their raises in April. At the same time, Aetna is promising to cut health insurance costs for the employees. The wage increase averages 11 percent company-wide, but in some locales, it represents a 33-percent jump.
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