Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini likes to talk about how the giant insurer is an innovator. He tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that it’s difficult for legacy organizations to do that, but in the case of 164-year-old Aetna, “we have constantly been able to see around corners, so that is why we disrupted our own business model.”
Bertolini made headlines earlier this year by giving thousands of low paid Aetna employees a big pay raise. He raised the minimum wage to $16 an hour—a 33% increase. Why did he do it? He read Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and says “it was scary to me.” Piketty calls on the world’s largest economies to bridge the inequality gap. Frightened by the idea of massive wealth distribution through the federal government, Bertolini decided to take care of his own employees. “We can become a better corporate citizen and treat our employees better,” he says, not to mention that the raise paid for itself by making workers more productive.
What’s the next big game change for Aetna? Bertolini talks about “community based healthcare.” He believes the best and most cost effective way to provide care is “in the home by the family,” with the help of healthcare professionals. Stay tuned for how he pulls that off.