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Company > Aetna: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Aetna: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: May 04, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article entitled "Aetna: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023," we will delve into the business model of Aetna, a leading healthcare insurance company. We will analyze their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a comprehensive SWOT analysis. Furthermore, we will explore the competitive landscape of Aetna, examining its key rivals in the industry. By understanding these aspects, we aim to provide valuable insights into Aetna's position in the market and its potential growth strategies in the coming years.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Aetna: Gain insights into the ownership structure of Aetna and understand the key stakeholders involved in the company.
    • Aetna's mission statement: Explore the mission statement of Aetna and understand the company's core values and goals.
    • Aetna's revenue streams: Discover the various ways in which Aetna generates revenue and learn about their key sources of income.
    • Aetna's business model canvas: Gain a comprehensive understanding of Aetna's business model through a detailed explanation of their key activities, resources, partners, and customer segments.
    • Aetna's competitors: Identify the main competitors of Aetna in the healthcare industry and understand their market positioning and strategies.
    • Aetna SWOT analysis: Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by Aetna, providing insights into the company's current situation and potential future challenges.

    Who owns Aetna?

    A Brief Overview of Aetna's Ownership

    Aetna, one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States, has a complex ownership structure that involves various stakeholders. Understanding the ownership of Aetna is crucial in comprehending the company's decision-making processes, strategic direction, and potential implications for its policyholders and the broader healthcare industry.

    Stockholders and the Publicly Traded Entity

    At its core, Aetna is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "AET." Therefore, a significant portion of Aetna's ownership lies in the hands of individual and institutional investors who hold shares of the company's stock. These stockholders can include large investment firms, mutual funds, pension funds, and individual investors.

    The CVS Health Acquisition

    In 2018, Aetna entered into an agreement to be acquired by CVS Health, a prominent retail pharmacy and healthcare services company. This acquisition, which was completed in 2018, has further influenced Aetna's ownership structure. As a result of the merger, CVS Health became the majority owner of Aetna, with CVS shareholders owning a substantial portion of the combined company.

    Role of Institutional Investors

    In addition to CVS Health, several institutional investors hold significant stakes in Aetna. These investors can include pension funds, insurance companies, and other large financial institutions. Their ownership in Aetna may vary depending on their investment strategies and the size of their positions.

    Aetna's Board of Directors

    The Board of Directors plays a crucial role in the ownership and governance of Aetna. They are elected by the company's shareholders and are responsible for overseeing management, setting strategic goals, and making important decisions. The composition of the board can change over time, reflecting the interests and priorities of Aetna's various stakeholders.

    Regulatory Oversight

    Given the nature of the health insurance industry, Aetna is subject to regulatory oversight by various state and federal entities. These regulators ensure that Aetna operates in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, protecting the interests of policyholders and the public in general.


    In summary, Aetna's ownership can be seen as a combination of individual and institutional investors, with CVS Health being the majority owner after the 2018 acquisition. The company's board of directors and regulatory bodies also play significant roles in shaping Aetna's operations and decision-making processes. Understanding the ownership structure of Aetna provides valuable insights into the company's direction and potential impacts on the healthcare industry as a whole.

    What is the mission statement of Aetna?

    Aetna's Mission Statement: Empowering Healthier Lives

    Aetna, one of the leading health care companies in the United States, has a clear and concise mission statement: "Empowering Healthier Lives." This mission statement encapsulates the company's commitment to improving the well-being and quality of life for its members and communities.

    Aetna recognizes that health is not just the absence of illness, but a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. With this understanding, their mission is to empower individuals to take control of their health and make informed decisions that lead to healthier lives.

    The mission statement reflects Aetna's dedication to providing accessible, affordable, and high-quality health care solutions. They aim to create a health care system that is focused on prevention, addressing the root causes of health issues, and promoting overall well-being. By doing so, Aetna strives to empower individuals to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

    Furthermore, Aetna's mission statement emphasizes their commitment to collaboration and partnership. They understand that achieving their mission requires working with other stakeholders, including health care providers, employers, and communities. By fostering strong partnerships, Aetna aims to develop innovative solutions that improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.

    In summary, Aetna's mission statement, "Empowering Healthier Lives," encapsulates their dedication to improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Through accessible and high-quality health care solutions, Aetna aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health and live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Collaboration and partnership play a crucial role in achieving this mission, as Aetna recognizes the importance of working together with other stakeholders to create a sustainable and effective health care system.

    How does Aetna make money?

    Health Insurance Premiums

    One of the primary sources of revenue for Aetna is through health insurance premiums. Aetna offers various insurance plans to individuals, families, and employers, who pay a monthly or annual premium in exchange for coverage. The premium amount depends on factors such as the level of coverage, age, location, and health status of the insured individuals. Aetna collects these premiums and uses them to cover the costs of healthcare services provided to its policyholders.

    Insurance Products and Services

    Aetna offers a wide range of insurance products and services beyond health insurance. They provide dental, vision, pharmacy, disability, and life insurance to individuals and employers. These additional insurance offerings allow Aetna to generate additional revenue streams. By diversifying its product portfolio, Aetna can cater to the diverse needs of its customers and attract a larger customer base.

    Medicare and Medicaid

    Aetna also generates revenue through its participation in government-sponsored programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families. Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, and manages Medicaid programs in several states. In return, Aetna receives payments from the government for the services provided to eligible beneficiaries.

    Employer-sponsored Plans

    A significant portion of Aetna's revenue comes from employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Aetna works with employers to design and administer customized health insurance plans for their employees. These plans are often offered as part of an employee benefits package and can include various coverage options such as medical, dental, and vision. Aetna earns revenue by charging premiums to employers based on the number of covered employees and the level of coverage provided. The company's extensive network of healthcare providers and negotiated rates with hospitals and doctors also contribute to its attractiveness to employers.

    Ancillary Services

    Apart from insurance products, Aetna offers various ancillary services that contribute to its revenue generation. These services include wellness programs, telemedicine consultations, and disease management programs. By providing value-added services, Aetna not only enhances customer satisfaction but also generates additional revenue. These services can be offered as standalone products or bundled with insurance plans, providing customers with a holistic healthcare experience.

    In summary, Aetna generates revenue primarily through health insurance premiums, employer-sponsored plans, and participation in government-sponsored programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Additionally, the company's diverse portfolio of insurance products, ancillary services, and partnerships with healthcare providers contribute to its overall revenue stream.

    Aetna Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps organizations visualize, analyze, and design their business models. It provides a framework for understanding the key components of a business, how they interact, and how they create value for customers and stakeholders.

    Understanding Aetna's Business Model Canvas

    Aetna, a subsidiary of CVS Health, is one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. By examining its business model canvas, we can gain insights into how Aetna operates and delivers value to its customers.

    Key Partnerships

    Aetna's success relies on various key partnerships that enable it to provide comprehensive health insurance services. These partnerships include collaborations with healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, and other insurance carriers. By forming strategic alliances, Aetna can offer a wide range of services and access to a vast network of healthcare providers.

    Key Activities

    Aetna engages in several key activities to deliver its services effectively. These activities include underwriting insurance policies, managing claims processing, conducting risk assessment, developing innovative insurance products, and investing in technology and data analytics. By continuously improving its operational efficiency and investing in cutting-edge technologies, Aetna aims to enhance the overall customer experience and reduce costs.

    Key Resources

    Aetna's key resources include its extensive network of healthcare professionals, its insurance infrastructure, its brand reputation, and its technological capabilities. Its network of healthcare providers ensures that customers have access to quality healthcare services, while its insurance infrastructure enables efficient policy management and claims processing. Aetna's brand reputation as a trusted health insurance provider is a valuable resource that helps attract and retain customers. Additionally, Aetna's technological capabilities, such as data analytics and telehealth solutions, further enhance its ability to serve its customers' needs.

    Value Proposition

    Aetna's value proposition centers around providing affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage to individuals, families, and employers. By offering a wide range of insurance plans, Aetna aims to meet the diverse needs of its customers. Its value proposition also includes providing access to a vast network of healthcare providers, promoting preventive care, and leveraging technology to enhance the overall healthcare experience.

    Customer Segments

    Aetna serves a diverse range of customer segments, including individuals, families, small businesses, large employers, and government entities. By tailoring its insurance offerings to meet the specific needs of each segment, Aetna can effectively address the unique healthcare requirements of different customer groups.


    Aetna utilizes multiple channels to distribute its insurance products and services. These channels include direct sales through its website and call centers, partnerships with insurance brokers and agents, and collaborations with employers and government agencies. By employing a multi-channel approach, Aetna can reach customers through their preferred channels and provide a seamless experience.

    Cost Structure

    Aetna's cost structure includes various elements such as administrative costs, healthcare provider payments, technology investments, marketing expenses, and regulatory compliance costs. By carefully managing its costs and optimizing its operations, Aetna aims to provide competitive premiums to its customers while maintaining profitability.

    Revenue Streams

    Aetna generates revenue primarily through insurance premiums paid by its customers. It also earns revenue from investment income, government contracts, and partnerships with employers. By diversifying its revenue streams, Aetna can mitigate risks and ensure a stable financial foundation.


    By analyzing Aetna's business model canvas, we can gain a deeper understanding of how the company creates and delivers value to its customers. Aetna's key partnerships, activities, resources, and value proposition all contribute to its success in the health insurance industry. Through a customer-centric approach and continuous innovation, Aetna remains a prominent player in the market, striving to improve healthcare outcomes for individuals and communities.

    Which companies are the competitors of Aetna?

    Major Competitors of Aetna

    Aetna, one of the largest health insurance providers in the United States, faces stiff competition from several other prominent companies in the industry. Here are some of Aetna's major competitors:

    1. UnitedHealth Group: UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurance company in the US, presents a significant challenge to Aetna. With a vast network of providers and a diverse range of insurance plans, UnitedHealth Group offers stiff competition in terms of market share and customer base.

    2. Anthem: Anthem, another major player in the health insurance market, competes directly with Aetna. Operating in multiple states, Anthem provides a wide range of health insurance options to individuals, families, and employers. With a strong presence and a focus on customer satisfaction, Anthem keeps Aetna on its toes.

    3. Cigna: Cigna is a global health services company that offers health insurance plans, as well as other related services such as pharmacy benefits management. With a commitment to personalized customer experience and innovative healthcare solutions, Cigna poses a significant threat to Aetna's market share.

    4. Humana: Humana is a leading health insurance company known for its Medicare Advantage plans and other health-related services. With a strong emphasis on preventive care and wellness programs, Humana competes directly with Aetna, especially in the Medicare market.

    5. WellCare Health Plans: WellCare Health Plans primarily focuses on providing government-sponsored managed care services, including Medicare and Medicaid. With a focus on low-income individuals and families, WellCare Health Plans competes with Aetna in providing affordable health insurance options to underserved populations.

    These companies, along with several other regional and local health insurance providers, form the competitive landscape for Aetna. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and new players emerge, Aetna must continually innovate and adapt to maintain its competitive edge.

    Aetna SWOT Analysis


    • Strong brand reputation: Aetna is one of the largest and most well-known health insurance providers in the United States. The company has been in operation for over 160 years and has built a strong brand reputation based on its commitment to quality healthcare and customer service.

    • Diverse product portfolio: Aetna offers a wide range of health insurance products, including individual and family plans, employer-sponsored plans, Medicare, and Medicaid. This diverse product portfolio allows the company to cater to the needs of different customer segments and provides a competitive advantage in the market.

    • Extensive network of healthcare providers: Aetna has an extensive network of healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, and physicians. This network allows customers to access healthcare services conveniently and ensures that they have a wide range of options to choose from.

    • Strong financial performance: Aetna has consistently delivered strong financial results, with steady revenue growth and profitability. The company's strong financial performance provides it with the resources to invest in new technologies, expand its product offerings, and pursue strategic initiatives.


    • Limited geographic presence: While Aetna is a major player in the health insurance industry, its geographic presence is not as extensive as some of its competitors. The company primarily operates in the United States and has a limited presence in international markets. This limited geographic presence may restrict its growth opportunities and make it vulnerable to regional economic fluctuations.

    • High dependence on employer-sponsored plans: A significant portion of Aetna's revenue comes from employer-sponsored health insurance plans. This high dependence on employer-sponsored plans exposes the company to risks associated with changes in the job market, such as layoffs or reduced employer contributions to healthcare benefits. Any decline in employer-sponsored plans could have a negative impact on Aetna's financial performance.

    • Regulatory challenges: The health insurance industry is highly regulated, and Aetna is subject to various federal and state regulations. Compliance with these regulations can be complex and costly, and any changes in regulations can have a significant impact on the company's operations and profitability.


    • Growing demand for healthcare services: The demand for healthcare services is expected to continue growing due to factors such as an aging population, increasing chronic diseases, and advancements in medical technology. This presents an opportunity for Aetna to expand its customer base and offer innovative healthcare solutions to meet the evolving needs of consumers.

    • Expansion into international markets: Aetna has the opportunity to expand its presence in international markets, particularly in regions with growing healthcare markets and increasing health insurance penetration. By leveraging its expertise and brand reputation, Aetna can enter new markets and tap into new sources of revenue.

    • Embracing digital health technologies: The rise of digital health technologies, such as telemedicine and mobile health apps, presents an opportunity for Aetna to enhance its service offerings and improve customer experience. By investing in and adopting these technologies, the company can differentiate itself from competitors and attract tech-savvy customers.


    • Intense competition: The health insurance industry is highly competitive, with numerous players vying for market share. Aetna faces competition from other large insurance companies, as well as regional and local insurers. This intense competition can lead to price pressures, customer churn, and the need for continuous innovation to stay ahead.

    • Political and regulatory uncertainty: The healthcare industry is heavily influenced by political and regulatory decisions. Changes in healthcare policies, such as the Affordable Care Act, can have a significant impact on Aetna's business operations and financial performance. Political and regulatory uncertainty adds a level of unpredictability to the industry and poses a threat to Aetna's growth and profitability.

    • Rising healthcare costs: The ongoing rise in healthcare costs poses a threat to Aetna's profitability. As healthcare expenses continue to increase, the company may face challenges in managing costs and maintaining affordable premiums for customers. This could lead to decreased profitability or the need to pass on higher costs to customers, potentially resulting in customer dissatisfaction or loss of market share.

    Key Takeaways

    • Aetna is owned by CVS Health, a leading retail pharmacy and healthcare company.
    • The mission statement of Aetna is to build a healthier world by providing high-quality healthcare services and improving the overall well-being of individuals and communities.
    • Aetna primarily generates revenue through its health insurance business, offering various insurance plans to individuals, employers, and government entities.
    • The Aetna Business Model Canvas outlines the key components of Aetna's business model, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, and key partnerships.
    • Aetna faces competition from other major health insurance companies such as UnitedHealthcare, Anthem, Cigna, and Humana. A SWOT analysis of Aetna reveals its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the competitive healthcare industry.


    In conclusion, Aetna, a leading healthcare company, is owned by CVS Health Corporation, which acquired Aetna in 2018. The mission statement of Aetna is to build a healthier world by providing individuals, employers, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders with innovative and accessible healthcare solutions. Aetna generates revenue through various channels, primarily through health insurance premiums, pharmacy benefits management, and specialty pharmacy services. By analyzing the Aetna Business Model Canvas, it becomes evident that the company focuses on customer-centricity, cost-effectiveness, and technological advancements to deliver value to its stakeholders. Aetna faces fierce competition in the healthcare industry, with notable competitors including UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, and Cigna. Conducting a SWOT analysis reveals Aetna's strengths in its extensive network, brand recognition, and diverse portfolio, while also highlighting weaknesses such as regulatory challenges and potential threats from disruptive market forces. Overall, Aetna's position in the market and its commitment to improving healthcare outcomes position it as a formidable player in the industry, constantly adapting to the evolving landscape to provide quality and affordable healthcare services.


    What is SWOT analysis for healthcare companies?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or organization. In the context of healthcare companies, SWOT analysis helps in assessing and understanding the internal and external factors that may impact their operations and performance. Here is a breakdown of each component in SWOT analysis for healthcare companies:

    1. Strengths: Internal factors that give the healthcare company a competitive advantage or unique capabilities. This can include factors like a strong brand reputation, specialized medical expertise, advanced technology, efficient processes, high-quality patient care, or a diverse range of services.

    2. Weaknesses: Internal factors that place the healthcare company at a disadvantage or hinder its performance. Weaknesses can include limited resources, outdated technology, inadequate infrastructure, high employee turnover, poor patient satisfaction, or lack of specialization in certain areas.

    3. Opportunities: External factors that could be advantageous to the healthcare company and provide opportunities for growth or improvement. Opportunities can arise from factors such as emerging healthcare technologies, changes in healthcare regulations, new market segments, strategic partnerships or collaborations, or an aging population with increased healthcare needs.

    4. Threats: External factors that pose challenges or risks to the healthcare company's success. Threats can include competitive pressures from other healthcare providers, changes in government policies or regulations, economic factors, rising healthcare costs, legal or ethical issues, or advancements in telemedicine or other disruptive technologies.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis, healthcare companies can gain insights into their competitive position, identify areas for improvement, capitalize on opportunities, and develop strategies to mitigate potential threats. This analysis can guide decision-making, resource allocation, and overall strategic planning for the company.

    What is the customer satisfaction of Aetna?

    According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) 2020-2021, Aetna's customer satisfaction score is 69 out of 100, which is considered below average compared to other health insurance companies. However, it is important to note that customer satisfaction can vary among individuals and experiences may differ.

    How do you write a SWOT analysis in healthcare?

    To write a SWOT analysis in healthcare, follow these steps:

    1. Identify the Strengths:

      • Evaluate the internal factors that give the healthcare organization an advantage over others. Consider aspects like reputation, specialized services, skilled workforce, advanced technology, financial stability, partnerships, etc.
    2. Determine the Weaknesses:

      • Assess the internal factors that put the healthcare organization at a disadvantage. Look for areas that need improvement, such as outdated infrastructure, lack of resources or skilled staff, poor management, limited funding, etc.
    3. Identify the Opportunities:

      • Analyze the external factors that can benefit the healthcare organization. Consider factors like emerging healthcare trends, new technologies, changes in regulations, market demand, partnerships or collaborations, potential expansion, etc.
    4. Determine the Threats:

      • Evaluate the external factors that can pose challenges or threats to the healthcare organization. Look for factors like increased competition, changing regulations, economic instability, technological disruptions, lack of funding, demographic changes, etc.
    5. Create a SWOT matrix:

      • Create a table or matrix with four quadrants, each representing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. List the identified factors under the respective quadrants.
    6. Analyze and prioritize:

      • Analyze the factors listed in each quadrant and prioritize them based on their impact and importance. Consider the potential impact on patients, staff, finances, reputation, and overall operations.
    7. Develop strategies:

      • Based on the SWOT analysis, develop strategies to capitalize on strengths, address weaknesses, seize opportunities, and mitigate threats. Focus on leveraging strengths, overcoming weaknesses, exploiting opportunities, and implementing risk management measures.
    8. Implementation and Monitoring:

      • Implement the strategies developed and continuously monitor their progress. Regularly review and update the SWOT analysis to ensure it remains relevant and aligned with the changing healthcare landscape.

    Remember, a SWOT analysis should be comprehensive, objective, and based on reliable data. It provides a foundation for strategic planning and decision-making in the healthcare sector.

    What are weaknesses in healthcare SWOT analysis?

    Some weaknesses that can be identified in a healthcare SWOT analysis include:

    1. Limited access to healthcare: Many individuals, especially in developing countries or rural areas, face challenges in accessing healthcare facilities and services due to factors like distance, lack of transportation, or financial constraints.

    2. High costs: Healthcare services can be expensive, which can prevent individuals from seeking necessary care or lead to financial burden for patients. This can also strain healthcare systems and contribute to inequalities in access to care.

    3. Fragmented healthcare system: In some countries, healthcare systems might be fragmented, with separate entities for primary care, specialty care, and emergency services. This can lead to inefficiencies, gaps in care coordination, and difficulty in accessing comprehensive and continuous healthcare.

    4. Limited technological integration: The healthcare sector has been relatively slow in adopting and integrating technology into various aspects of care delivery. This can result in challenges in sharing patient information, lack of real-time data analysis, and overall inefficiency in healthcare processes.

    5. Workforce shortages: Many regions face shortages of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and allied healthcare workers. This can lead to increased workloads, longer wait times for patients, and compromised quality of care.

    6. Inadequate preventive care: Healthcare systems often focus more on treating illnesses rather than preventing them. This can result in missed opportunities to address risk factors, promote healthier lifestyles, and reduce the burden of chronic diseases.

    7. Quality and safety concerns: Despite advancements in medical knowledge and technology, healthcare systems can still face issues related to medical errors, patient safety, and variability in the quality of care provided.

    8. Resistance to change: Implementing new policies or adopting innovative practices in healthcare can often face resistance from various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, patients, and policymakers. This can hinder progress and improvement in healthcare delivery.

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