US health insurer Aetna has signed a three-year contract with Shriners Hospitals for Children, expanding its members' access in 16 states.

Shriners Hospitals has 22 hospitals in the US, Canada and Mexico. The hospitals provide care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate.

As per the contract, which effective 1 August, members of Aetna plans will be able to receive covered services, at in-network rates, from 20 Shriners Hospitals for Children located in the US.

About 200 physicians employed by Shriners Hospitals also will join Aetna’s network.

Aetna head of national network contracting services Carl King said its members, and especially their children, will benefit greatly from the addition of these facilities and providers.