CA Weighs in on Aetna-Humana Merger

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The Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) recently approved Aetna’s $37 billion acquisition of Humana.  As part of the approval, Aetna agreed to spend $49.5 million on community investment projects, minimize future HMO small group rate increases and improve the quality of patient care.

Shortly after DMHC’s approval, the Department of Insurance recommended that federal officials block the merger.  The insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, stated the merger would have “anticompetitive impacts that will likely result in increased prices, decreased availability of health insurance products, and decreased quality and access to healthcare.”  Jones noted the concessions from Aetna as part of DMHC’s approval “do not eliminate the “anti-competitive effects of the merger.”

The merger was originally scheduled for June 30, 2016 but has been pushed to December 31, 2016.  Several states and the U.S. Department of Justice still must approve the deal.