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Mergers of Large Healthcare Providers Could Draw Federal Scrutiny

The latest merger between large healthcare providers may raise concerns.
July 29, 2015

The latest merger between large healthcare providers may raise concerns. The just-announced $54.2 billion merger between Anthem and Cigna will create a company poised to serve 53 million people—outstripping industry leader UnitedHealthcare's 45 million members and topping the 33 million that a merged Humana and Aetna would create.

Last month, a senior Justice Department official told the Wall Street Journal that potential deals between the nation's five largest health insurance companies have the potential to disrupt the market, limiting competition and sending premiums soaring upward. As such, antitrust enforcers want greater purview of pending transactions.

Now, officials say if all these mergers come through, the federal government could look at the deals collectively, in an attempt to determine what effect the deals might have on the marketplace—specifically, whether rate increases would be likely and whether any antitrust concerns would be raised.

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