Although powerful provider groups have voiced their opposition to the two major health insurer mergers, one physician leader says he believes that the combination of Anthem and Cigna will help providers and insurers work together to increase care quality and lower costs.
In a Senate oversight committee hearing this week, a federal antitrust regulator offered insight into the closely watched reviews of the pending Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna mergers, noting that if approved, the health insurance deals could be a "game changer" for the industry.
The major U.S. health insurers that plan to merge argue the benefits of their deals will include scale economies, negotiating leverage in provider contracting and diversification, Prospective Health President and CEO Paul von Ebers writes in a post for the Health Affairs blog. But von Ebers cautions there's reason to believe all three benefits will have limits in real-world application.
The new year has brought a renewed focus on state regulators' role in reviewing the pending health insurer mergers while the federal government continues its own probe of the mega-deals.
In addition to carrying significant regulatory risks, pending health insurer mega-mergers could affect the credit ratings of the involved companies, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's.
To explore some of those roadblocks that the two major health insurer mergers might face if approved by regulators, FierceHealthPayer spoke to Steven Shill, a national leader of the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation and co-leader of the firm's healthcare practice.
Though Anthem and Cigna's shareholders approved their pending merger Friday, many other investors are betting against the deal's completion, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Anthem and Cigna's shareholders voted Thursday to approve the companies' merger, which is still awaiting regulatory approval.
Since the major payer mergers were announced, many have debated whether or not they will damage competition in the health insurance market. But to truly evaluate how the deals will play out, it may be most effective to analyze their effects at the state level.
Cigna has settled a string of class-action lawsuits brought by its shareholders over its pending merger with Anthem, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.