HARTFORD, CT—Saying the incident had forced them to completely rethink their past decisions about the man’s coverage and how they would approach his policy from here on out, Aetna executives reported Thursday that the recent heart attack of longtime plan member Michael Burns was a real wake-up call for the 163-year-old insurance company. “This came as a terrible shock, but to be honest, it was probably just what we needed to shake us out of our old habits and realize we have to make some big changes around here,” said CEO Mark Bertolini, adding that the health care provider had known for years that Burns’ monthly premium could be easily two or three times its current level, and that it was unfortunate that it had taken a major emergency and hospitalization for the company to finally do something about it. “You want to believe you can keep charging someone the same co-pays forever, but after this, we’re really going to have to keep a closer watch to make sure his yearly deductible keeps pace with his increased health risk—that’s just common sense. I honestly didn’t realize things had gotten this bad.” Bertolini added that he was just glad they had caught the problem while Burns still had plenty of profitably healthy years left.

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