California insurance commissioner calls for DOJ to block Anthem/Cigna merger

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California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has “urged the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger deal between Anthem, Inc., and Cigna Corporation.”

A June 16 press release says that, “After an extensive review of the Anthem and Cigna merger, Commissioner Jones issued detailed findings that the merger of the second and fourth largest national health insurers is anti-competitive and will harm California consumers, businesses, and the California health insurance market.”

The commissioner also “found that if the merger moves forward, Anthem's market share will exceed 50 percent in 28 California counties and 40 percent in 38 counties, which will negatively impact California consumers with likely reductions in access, quality of care, and affordability of health insurance.”

In a related development, the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Regulation recently issued an order that says that the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana would violate competitive standards and that the health insurers would not be allowed to conduct business in the state if the merger goes through – though the companies will be given additional time to propose corrective action.

Finally, it is worth noting that a June 14 article that appeared in the ‘International Business Times’ said that, “Connecticut ethics officials announced Tuesday that they'll consider a formal petition to evaluate whether the state’s top insurance regulator has violated conflict-of-interest laws by overseeing a regulatory review of the largest health insurance merger in American history.”

Click for Commissioner Jones press release
 
Click for Missouri order

Click for International Business Times Article  

Also go to http://www.mag.org/advocacy/insurance-merger for information on the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) efforts to block the Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna mergers. MAG expects Georgia’s Office of Insurance to schedule a hearing on the subject in the near future. Contact MAG Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. at dpalmisano@mag.org with questions related to MAG’s advocacy efforts.