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Aetna posts profit gain, but medical costs spike

Reuters, April 29, 2009
Health insurer Aetna Inc. reported a slight rise in net income as membership increased, but it cited higher-than-projected medical costs in its commercial business that serves employers. Net income rose to $437.8 million, or 95 cents per share, from $431.6 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. People who are losing their jobs and taking COBRA post-employment insurance are using more medical services than expected, Aetna said. It also said people are using more services, such as getting more tests, when they visit the doctor.