Aetna is the latest in the growing number of major U.S. health insurers setting up shop in China.
The Hartford, Conn.-based insurer announced that it has established a representative office in Shanghai as the first step in a two-year process required before it can apply for a license in China. Aetna received approval through Aetna Global Benefits, its international division, in late March from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to open the office. Aetna Global Benefits provides health coverage to more than 325,000 U.S. expatriates and others in more than 100 countries, including China.
The company is now conducting market research on the health insurance industry in China. We believe we can help multinational employers expanding to the Far East, as well as across all borders, Martha Temple, president of Aetna Global Benefits, said in a statement.
Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint are all making inroads into the China market by establishing offices there. -- by Rebecca Vesely