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Aetna, Humana defend merger plans in court

Aetna headquarters in Hartford

Updated at 4:57 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Opening salvos were fired Monday in the antitrust case against the proposed merger of Aetna and Humana, with Justice Department attorneys arguing the tie-up would mean sharp price hikes for Medicare Advantage plans and a disintegration of choice for people purchasing insurance on Affordable Care Act exchanges. Continue Reading →

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Aetna-Humana antitrust trial to have a different twist

Aetna headquarters in Hartford

WASHINGTON – As the first part of the antitrust trial on a proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna is wrapping up, a similar challenge to Aetna’s plan to merge with Humana will begin Monday. While both are the result of lawsuits to block the mergers filed by the Justice Department on the same day in July, the trials will be much different. Continue Reading →

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Insurers uncertain as Congress looks to repeal Affordable Care Act

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WASHINGTON– Caught off guard by the political changes that make possible the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s insurers are hoping Congress will replace the health care law with something that allows them to stay in business – and even thrive. “The discussion right now about repeal and replacement is making the (insurance) market very, very nervous,” Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, said. Continue Reading →

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UnitedHeathcare a player in insurance merger lawsuits

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WASHINGTON – UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer and former potential suitor to merge with Cigna, provided the Justice Department with a large amount of sensitive, proprietary and confidential information to help the government investigate and block the mergers by its rivals. Continue Reading →

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CT is Exhibit A in antitrust fight against Anthem-Cigna merger

Cigna headquarters in Bloomfield

WASHINGTON — In its court battle to block the merger of Anthem and Cigna, the U.S. Justice Department plans to use Connecticut’s market as a prime example of why increased consolidation in the health insurance field would hurt consumers. “It was clear to us… that if Connecticut had not decided to participate in the lawsuit, (the state) would have been a focal point of the case anyhow,” said Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who has joined the DOJ lawsuit. Continue Reading →

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Senators press fight with Aetna over quitting ACA exchanges

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini

Updated at 5:12 p.m.
WASHINGTON — A group of liberal senators and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini continued their battle Friday, with the lawmakers accusing the insurance executive of avoiding their questions about Aetna’s decision to quit 11 health insurance exchanges. Continue Reading →

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AMA says Anthem-Cigna deal would shrink insurer choices in CT

Cigna headquarters in Bloomfield

WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association, strongly opposed to the merger of Anthem and Cigna, said the deal would greatly limit competition in Connecticut and nine other states, leading to premium increases and fewer choices of doctors and hospitals for the state’s patients. Continue Reading →

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Warren, Sanders demand Aetna explain decision to quit ACA exchanges

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini.

Updated 5:27 p.m.
WASHINGTON – In a strongly worded letter to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and several other Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, have asked the company to explain why it entered into a “risky” merger deal with Humana that now makes it financially unable to sell policies in 11 state health insurance exchanges. Continue Reading →

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Aetna offers divestitures, Cigna looking at its options

Aetna headquarters in Hartford

WASHINGTON — Aetna and Humana said Tuesday they have an agreement to sell Medicare Advantage business covering 290,000 people to rival insurer Molina if their planned merger is allowed to be completed. Aetna also said it is halting 2017 plans to expand participation on public exchanges and is reviewing all of its current participation on Affordable Care Act exchanges. Continue Reading →

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Murphy urges Aetna, Cigna to stay, doesn’t oppose mergers

Sen. Chris Murphy

With decisions from the Justice Department pending on two potential mergers involving Aetna and Cigna, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., sent a pair of letters Monday urging both companies to maintain a “strong presence” in Connecticut regardless of the outcome. He did not oppose the mergers. Continue Reading →

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Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna facing different merger obstacles

Aetna headquarters in Hartford

WASHINGTON – So far, Aetna appears to be clearing the regulatory and antitrust hurdles it faces to merge with Humana more easily, while Anthem’s proposed marriage to Cigna has faced more troubles. Neither has yet cleared the hurdle of antitrust approval from the U.S. Justice Department. Continue Reading →

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