Updated at 4:35 p.m.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Monday rejected a proposed merger between Aetna and Humana, saying the $37 billion deal would “be likely to substantially lessen competition” in the Medicare Advantage market. Aetna is considering an appeal. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON – As Republicans in Congress begin work on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s health insurers are telling lawmakers to keep paying subsidies to the companies and to low-income Americans so they can afford coverage. Insurers are also asking that Congress create a long transition period before changes to the ACA take effect. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON — The antitrust trial over a proposed merger between Aetna and Humana wrapped up Wednesday, with U.S. District Court Judge John Bates asking probing questions of both Justice Department lawyers seeking to block the deal and attorneys for the insurers defending their plan. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON — Hostilities between proposed merger partners Anthem and Cigna were on full display Tuesday at a key point of a U.S. antitrust trial over the deal. Cigna attorney Rick Rule said the company did not sign a key closing document because it did not agree with Anthem’s characterizations of the testimony of certain Cigna witnesses. Continue Reading →
Updated at 6:35 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Justice Department attorneys on Monday continued to try to undercut arguments by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini that his company’s Medicare Advantage program competes with government-run Medicare. Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act is facing more challenges than at any time since its initial enrollment period in 2013, when the program was bedeviled by technical glitches. Besides rising premiums and fewer choices in Connecticut and elsewhere, there’s uncertainty a new Congress and a new administration will make fixes to the ACA that will improve its health. Continue Reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
WASHINGTON — Aetna’s decision to abandon 11 state Affordable Care Act marketplaces combined with the shrinking participation of other insurers has prompted Washington advocates to look for new ways to strengthen state marketplaces like Connecticut’s Access Health CT. Republicans, meanwhile, have renewed their calls for the ACA’s repeal. Continue Reading →