Aetna (NYSE: AET) announced today that it has signed a multiyear agreement with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care System. The new contract, which takes effect Nov. 1, returns UNC Health Care to the Aetna network for the first time since February 2011. Under the agreement, Aetna members can receive covered services, at in-network rates, from University of North Carolina Hospitals, Rex Hospital and Chatham Hospital. The network agreement also includes the system’s approximately 1,400 physicians, such as UNC Physicians & Associates; UNC Physicians Network; and other physicians employed by Rex Healthcare. “Aetna is excited to announce this agreement with the University of North Carolina Health Care System,” said Margie Maxwell, president of Aetna’s North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas markets. “We’re pleased our members will again be able to receive care from UNC on an in-network basis.” Aetna provides health benefits to about 300,000 members in North Carolina. Those members have access to a network that includes more than 118 contracted hospitals and more than 16,381 primary care and specialist physicians. “UNC Health Care takes our responsibility to provide high-value health care -- high quality and cost-effective -- to our patients very seriously,” said Allen Daugird, MD, MBA, president, UNC Physicians & Associates and UNC Physicians Network. “We are very pleased to reach this agreement, and the UNC Health Care System providers and facilities look forward to serving Aetna members on an in-network basis again.” About UNC Health Care The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, N.C.; Chatham Hospital in Siler City, N.C.; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County.