A Game Of Whac-A-Mole: Regulators’ Effort To Stop Insurers’ Mega-Mergers Could Backfire
Even if federal officials are able to stop the two big mergers proposed by Anthem and Aetna, insurers would likely look for other ways to bolster their competitive edge, such as buying smaller insurers.
Insurers Will Consolidate Even If Mega-Mergers Fail
But even if the federal government buries Anthem's $53 billion acquisition and Aetna's $37 billion purchase, the big five health insurers (which also include UnitedHealth Group) are likely to forge new transactions to scale up and improve their position at the bargaining table with consolidating hospitals and health systems. ... Centene Corp., Molina Healthcare and WellCare Health Plans, all publicly traded insurers, are logical targets because of their relatively smaller size. (Herman, 7/23)
U.S. Government's Bid To Block Insurance Mergers Could Spawn New Ones
The potential bust-up of two mega deals among America’s largest health insurance companies may have an unintended result -- more mergers. The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday sued to block Aetna Inc's $37 billion purchase of Humana Inc and Anthem Inc’s proposed $54 billion buyout of Cigna Corp, arguing that they would cut competition and boost rates for patients. If no settlement is reached for one or both deals, the fallback strategy for the four insurers to ensure future growth would likely be a familiar one: Another buying spree, this time of smaller insurers less likely to raise the ire of regulators. (O'Donnell and Humer, 7/22)