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Brother, heal thyself.



, the large health insurer that has been going through restructuring, this morning announced more moves to get its house in order.

Aetna said it would cut 5,000 jobs and take after-tax charges of about $100 million in the fourth quarter to pay for the restructuring. The Hartford-based insurer also said it would take an after-tax charge of $235 million in the fourth quarter related to good will in connection with Medicare markets. Other after-tax charges for the fourth quarter include $35 million for the recent spinoff of Aetna, its health care business, and $195 million for the sale of Aetna Financial Services and Aetna International. The sale of those two units was completed last week.

The stock was not yet trading in preopen action on


this morning.

The insurer said the moves are intended "to strengthen the company¿s competitiveness, improve its profitability and concentrate its resources on its core mission as a health care and related benefits company."

Aetna said it expects that moves to give it $200 million in pretax savings in 2001and $300 million in pretax savings in 2002.