Aetna links medical history to health info

Mar 13, 2008

A U.S. health insurer is offering its customers an online service linking personal health data to online research of medical issues.

Aetna SmartSource, powered by Healthline Networks' Medically Guided Search technology, will provide customers with health information, local doctors who participate in their health plan, commonly used medications and treatment options, and estimated healthcare costs, Aetna said Wednesday in a news release.

The health insurer, which has 6.8 million enrollees, said the new service will allow customers to help manage their own healthcare.

"Aetna SmartSource pulls information from a variety of Aetna Web resources to intelligently organize search results based on a member's insurance plan, zip code and overall health, thereby helping members to become more engaged in their healthcare decisions," Meg McCabe, Aetna's vice president for online products, said in statement.

McCable told The New York Times the information will not be used to raise premiums or reject applications.

"That would not be a good business decision," she said. "We need to develop a relationship with our members based on trust."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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