MAG encouraging Georgians to oppose health insurer mergers

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians to contact Courtney Faust at / 404.463.2825 or Scott Sanders at / 404.657.7742 to urge Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens to oppose the pending Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna mergers.

MAG President John S. Harvey, M.D., believes that the mergers could have disastrous results for patients and physicians in Georgia.

He says that, “These deals would reduce competition and place physicians and their patients at an even greater disadvantage as a shrinking number of health insurance companies seize increasingly-dominant positions in the marketplace.”

Dr. Harvey also points out that the combined entities would control nearly 90 percent of the individual health insurance market in Georgia.

And he cautions that, “A few insurers will be able to institute policies that will exacerbate the physician shortage and undermine the economic viability of Georgia’s health care system – especially in rural areas, where hospitals and medical practices are struggling to keep their doors open.”

More than 30 percent of the physicians in Georgia who participated in a survey that MAG conducted in the last several months said that they believe that the Aetna/Humana merger would threaten the long-term viability of their practice.

MAG has urged the U.S. Department of Justice to assess these mergers for antitrust violations in a full and comprehensive way, while the Georgia Department of Insurance has expressed concerns that the Aetna/Humana merger would violate Georgia’s standards for competition.

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