Friday, July 22, 2016

ICYMI: MergerMania under the scope [UPDATED]

[Scroll down for update]

FoIB Holly R has the latest on the proposed mergers of Cigna with Anthem and Humana with Aetna:

"The Department of Justice announced Thursday that it would file lawsuits against the proposed merger[s] ... there are [currently] five major health insurers in the United States — and if these mergers went through, that would drop to three."

And the numbers are staggering: if both deals go through those three mega-carriers would account for something like half the under-65 population.

On the other hand, FoIB Brian D wonders:

"How can you pass restrictions and rules that push health insurers to the brink of bankruptcy then block insurers to merge to save costs? Could it be you look forward to government take over?"

I replied that this has been the plan all along.

And by the way, Aetna and Humana have announced their plan to fight this decision tooth-and-nail.

Fighting city hall? Hunh.

UPDATE [Related]: Co-blogger Bob also chimes in with this tip:

"[Humana] says it will sell individual health coverage in no more than 156 counties in 11 states in 2017, down from 1,351 counties in 19 states this year. That will reduce the number of counties in which it sells individual exchange plans by at least about 88 percent."

And, taking a nod from United Healthcare, it's not selling any off-Exchange plans next year.

But hey, if you like your plan...
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