Insurance Mergers Focus Of OIR Hearing

Dec 7, 2015

Florida insurance regulators this week will scrutinize two major health plan mergers.

Aetna plans buy Humana for $37 billion. Anthem plans to buy Cigna for $54 billion. If both deals are approved, there would only be three major insurance carriers nationwide.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will seek public comment on the Aetna deal Monday, and the Anthem deal will get a Tuesday. The biggest impacts would be in Jacksonville, Sarasota and Tampa.

The deal would affect the insurance of 3.1 million Floridians.

Insurance company officials say combining would expand access to care and give consumers a more extensive network of providers. The American Medical Association, though, says the deals would erode competition and increase prices.

Regulators will hear from the public on both deals this week, and are taking written comments through Dec. 17. The U.S. Department of Justice would still have to approve the deals.

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WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.