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Aetna CEO Describes Personal Health Care Struggle When His Own Son Was Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is no stranger to navigating America's complex health care system. In 2001, his son Eric was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he was left fighting for his son's life with no clear guidance from his insurer or health providers.

"Given all the economic power I had and political connections I had, there wasn't a cure to be bought more or less," Bertolini explained. "What I was told was he had six months and no one had ever survived his cancer."

Fortunately, his son did survive his illness, but the experience has since shaped how Bertolini runs the third largest health insurer in the U.S.

"What I learned through that experience was that the health care system is not very connected," said Bertolini. "We were the connection. We were the advocates."

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scawarren's picture

In 2000 Aetna was who my

In 2000 Aetna was who my employer had our health insurance contracted with and in July of that year I had brain surgery so that bilateral Choroid Plexus tumors could be removed. The itemized bill for my surgeries showed that they were over $87,000 and Aetna paid all of it except $429 and they also approved the surgery with in 48 hours. I had no complaints with them at all but that was fourteen years ago.

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain


replyed in wrong post.