Aetna raises its bare minimum wage to $16

Thousands of Aetna employees are getting a hefty raise.

The overall health insurance provider is rising its bare minimum hourly wage to $ 16, starting up in April, as a way to appeal to and retain talented personnel. And it will decrease the value of health rewards for some staffers following year.

Aetna is pursuing many other companies that have just lately elevated shell out amid a nationwide stagnation in wages.

About 5,seven hundred Aetna ( AET ) workers in the U.S. will benefit from the elevate, largely in buyer services, statements administration and billing. The business stated it wants to spend in personnel who offer with Aetna’s customers and to construct a much more effective workforce.

“A lot of of these employees are the encounter of the organization to buyers each working day,” Aetna mentioned in a release.

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The improving financial system played into the insurer’s decision. Decreasing turnover and recruitment expenditures outweighs the expense of the spend raise and reductions in well being care fees.

“As the American economy recovers, Aetna is leaning into that recovery and creating these enhancements so our colleagues who are vital to our success can benefit from it,” explained the business, which has far more than 48,000 employees complete.

On common, the shell out hike translates to an 11% elevate, but some personnel might get as much as 33% far more. This also offers personnel the chance to obtain higher bonuses and 401(k) contributions.

Aetna is also seeking to lower wellness care fees for its workers. Up coming calendar year, roughly seven,000 staffers will be eligible for a program that lowers out-of-pocket overall health care costs by as significantly as $ 4,000.

To qualify, personnel have to meet up with certain cash flow requirements and have interaction in wellness programs .

Nationwide, wages have stagnated for a number of several years. In 2014, the common hourly earnings rose only 1.7%, hardly above inflation. Most economists expect pay to tick up only a bit this 12 months.

States and metropolitan areas are using the lead on boosting the minimum wage , with some 20 states and Washington D.C. upping their hourly charges this month.

Some businesses are also boosting wages. Starbucks ( SBUX ) is increasing the shell out of baristas and shift professionals starting up this month.