HEALTH INSURER CONSOLIDATION AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR PATIENTS

The recently announced mega deals in the insurance industry will lead to further consolidation of an already highly concentrated health insurance market and will not benefit consumers. The potential repercussions of such consolidation on consumers would be harmful and far-reaching.

A competitive commercial health insurance market is essential for access, affordability and innovation. Independent research on previous insurance market consolidation shows that insurers do not share savings with their customers. In fact some increased health insurance premiums. The bottom line is that consumers end up paying the same amount – or even more – for their coverage. And insurers pocket any savings.

Information and Resources

American Hospital Association Comments

Anthem Inc. and the U.S. Department of Justice are sparring over how quickly to start an antitrust trial regarding the insurer’s $54 billion merger with Cigna, trading allegations of stonewalling and artificial deadlines.
Bill Baer was the ultimate Washington antitrust insider when he came to the Justice Department in 2013: At law firm Arnold & Porter LLP, he’d counseled the biggest U.S. companies, including deal machine General Electric Co., on getting mergers over the finish line.
Oct 21, 2015Carolyn Y. Johnson
For a handy cheat sheet as to who in health care might be a politically convenient target as the 2016 presidential campaigns heats up, one need only look at a poll rating the likability of various parts of the system, taken in August by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Shareholders of Aetna AET and Humana HUM overwhelmingly approved the merger of the two health plans into one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, clearing the way for the biggest hurdle ahead.
With groundbreaking insurer mega-mergers on the horizon, hospitals are considering growing their own insurance plans, according to a Reuters report.
As U.S. health insurers chart an unprecedented consolidation of the industry, hospitals are taking a fresh look at becoming insurers themselves to keep more of their patients’ healthcare dollars in house.
Leaders of two major health insurers planning multibillion dollar acquisitions made their case to Congress that bigger can mean better in their industry, but concerns are being raised in Washington about how these deals will affect consumers and competition.
The CEOs of Aetna and Anthem tried to sell the benefits of health insurance industry mergers to skeptical senators Tuesday.
Top executives from two of the biggest US health insurers defended mergers that will consolidate the industry from five major companies to three at a Senate hearing to examine antitrust issues.
The chief executives of Aetna Inc. and Anthem Inc. defended their merger deals before a Senate subcommittee, facing sharply critical testimony that raised questions about the impact of health-insurance consolidation.
Sep 21, 2015Anna Wilde Mathews
Five years after the Affordable Care Act helped set off a health-care merger frenzy, the pace of consolidation is accelerating, transforming the medical marketplace into a land of giants.
Two proposed mergers involving four of the nation’s biggest health insurers could reduce competition in an important industry.
Two proposed mergers involving four of the nation’s biggest health insurers could reduce competition in an important industry.
One month ago, I noted that the market was pricing a very high risk premium into two of three take-overs among health insurers.
When the feds finish reviewing the big mergers in the managed care patch, the insurers will have to make some divestitures in order to win a regulatory nod.
Impending multi-billion health insurance mergers involving four major providers have drawn the ire of patient advocacy groups that say such deals violate antitrust laws and threaten to fatten insurance companies’ coffers at patients’ expense.
The proposed mergers among the nation’s largest health insurers raise antitrust issues and warrant careful review, the American Medical Association said Tuesday.
Impending multi-billion health insurance mergers involving four major providers have drawn the ire of patient advocacy groups that say such deals violate antitrust laws and threaten to fatten insurance companies’ coffers at patients’ expense.
Big insurers are taking a break from the new — figuring out how to pay for value, rather than volume, of care — and going for the tried and true: gobbling up smaller insurers.
The nation’s powerful hospital lobby, the American Hospital Association, urged the U.S. Justice Department to closely scrutinize the proposed $37 billion acquisition by Aetna (AET) of Humana (HUM), saying it threatens competition in the business of providing health benefits to seniors in the growing privately run portion of the Medicare program.
A new paper throws cold water on an untested theory about the impact hospital realignment has on competition when the combining hospitals are far apart. The paper points out at least half a dozen possible flaws in the new theory ranging from fuzzy geographic markets to the lack of credit the authors give to increases … Continued
We continue to believe that the proposed deals by four large insurers is bad for consumers because it will likely result in higher premiums. Last week the AHA sent a letter to the Department of Justice that raised concerns about the proposed Anthem acquisition of Cigna focusing on the impact of Anthem’s affiliation with the … Continued
Today in a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the AHA raised concerns about the proposed Anthem acquisition of Cigna focusing on the impact of Anthem’s affiliation with the Blue Cross Blue Shield System. The letter states:
A report released last month used commercial claims data from United Healthcare (United), Aetna and Humana to reach a number conclusions about hospital prices and concentration. The paper is badly flawed and the assertions made about hospital market structure and prices, in particular, should be viewed as unreliable for a number of reasons.  The data … Continued
Insurance giant Aetna recently announced a proposal to acquire its Kentucky neighbor Humana, for $37 billion.[1] If the deal goes through, Aetna-Humana will become the nation’s largest Medicare Advantage Insurer.[2]
Today, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law about the state of competition in the health care marketplace as it relates to hospital and insurer consolidation.
Sep 09, 2015AHA STAT Staff
Hospitals are working together and with physicians and other community partners to provide patients with convenient, high quality and affordable care. Here’s how.
Aug 26, 2015Victor R. Fuchs, Peter V. Lee
In The Street Journal, Victor R. Fuchs and Peter V. Lee write about the healthy side of insurer mega-mergers—as hospitals consolidate, more market power is needed to bargain for better prices.
Deals among the nation’s largest health insurers in recent weeks have been almost head-spinning. But whatever the details, if the combinations are finalized, the result will be an industry dominated by three colossal insurers.
As states across the nation try to stem the growing trend of prescription drug abuse, officials at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene are putting their own system in place to deal with the problem.