Aetna, Humana still weighing appeal of ruling blocking merger

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini

Washington — The day after a federal judge dealt a crusing blow to Aetna’s plans to merge with Humana, the insurance companies’ CEOs said they were still mulling whether to appeal the decision.

“After putting forward a compelling case that addressed each of the Department of Justice concerns, we are disappointed with the court’s decision and will carefully consider all available options,” Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini and Humana CEO Bruce Broussard said in a joint statement. “We continue to believe a combined company will create access to higher-quality and more affordable care, and deliver a better overall experience for those we serve.”

U.S. Circuit Court Judge John Bates on Monday enjoined the insurers from merging, agreeing with the U.S. Justice Department, which sued to block the deal, saying it would result in a lack of competition, higher premium, less choice and poorer care.

In their joint statement, Bertolini and Broussard stressed that each company will “remain focused on its current operating plan while working through potential outcomes.”

“Members should continue to expect the same high-quality products and services that have come to define both companies,” the CEO’s said.