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14 февраля, 15:22

Aetna, Humana walk away from merger bid

Health insurance giants Aetna and Humana are dropping their $37 billion merger bid, declining to challenge a January court ruling that blocked their deal on antitrust grounds.The decision ends the companies’ nearly two-year-long pursuit of a deal that would have made them the nation’s largest seller of private Medicare plans. Aetna Tuesday morning said the companies mutually agreed not to appeal, blaming in part the uncertainty surrounding the future of the nation’s health care system under President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress.“While we continue to believe that a combined company would create greater value for health care consumers through improved affordability and quality, the current environment makes it too challenging to continue pursuing the transaction,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement Tuesday morning. Aetna and Humana first agreed to merge in 2015, amid a wave of dealmaking as health insurers positioned themselves for a long-term future under Obamacare. But the Obama administration and several states objected to the deal, warning it would leave seniors with fewer and costlier Medicare Advantage options.Following a 13-day trial, District Court Judge John D. Bates last month emphatically sided with the Obama administration and struck down the merger.The insurers’ decision not to appeal comes days after Anthem said it will challenge a decision blocking its own $54 billion merger with Cigna. Aetna had previously expressed concerns about the uncertainties created by Republicans’ push to repeal and replace Obamacare. The insurer late last month warned that the individual insurance market is deteriorating and that it planned to shed most of its customers in that area. In early February, Aetna officials including Bertolini met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss the GOP’s health reform efforts. Aetna will pay Humana a $1 billion breakup fee, the company said. It is also terminating its planned sale of 290,000 Medicare Advantage customers to Molina Healthcare, a deal originally aimed at making its tie-up with Humana more palatable to regulators.

13 февраля, 17:30

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Molina Healthcare, Centene, WellCare Health Plans and UnitedHealth Group

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Molina Healthcare, Centene, WellCare Health Plans and UnitedHealth Group

11 февраля, 02:18

Will Health Insurers Face the Music of Trump's Policies?

Will Health Insurers Face the Music of Trump's Policies?

10 февраля, 17:55

Is Cigna (CI) a Great Stock for Value Investors?

Cigna (CI) is an inspired choice for value investors, as it is hard to beat its incredible lineup of statistics on this front.

10 февраля, 17:30

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Anthem, Cigna, Aetna, Humana and U.S. Healthcare Providers iShares ETF

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Anthem, Cigna, Aetna, Humana and U.S. Healthcare Providers iShares ETF

10 февраля, 01:35

Health Insurance Industry Outlook - February 2017

Health Insurance Industry Outlook - February 2017

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09 февраля, 22:38

Anthem-Cigna merger blocked

A federal judge ruled against U.S. health insurer Anthem's proposed $54 billion merger with smaller rival Cigna. Fred Katayama reports. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/reuterssubscribe More updates and breaking news: http://smarturl.it/BreakingNews Reuters tells the world's stories like no one else. As the largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters provides coverage around the globe and across topics including business, financial, national, and international news. For over 160 years, Reuters has maintained its reputation for speed, accuracy, and impact while providing exclusives, incisive commentary and forward-looking analysis. http://reuters.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Reuters https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/reuters https://twitter.com/Reuters

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09 февраля, 20:24

Anthem to appeal judge's order blocking Cigna merger

Anthem vowed Thursday to appeal a federal judge's move to halt its planned takeover of Cigna.

09 февраля, 18:10

Stock Market News for February 09, 2017

Benchmarks ended mixed on Wednesday after gains from an oil prices rally were trimmed following a decline in financial stocks

09 февраля, 16:55

Anthem-Cigna Merger Receives a Blow from Federal Judge

As anticipated, the merger between Anthem Inc. (ANTM) and Cigna Corp. (CI) saw the same fate as that of Aetna and Humana which was blocked last month.

Выбор редакции
09 февраля, 16:00

Cigna May Hunt For New Deal Now That Anthem Merger Is Blocked

Cigna CEO David Cordani will seek acquisitions as a larger independent company now that its sale to Anthem has been blocked by a federal court judge.

09 февраля, 15:35

Willis Towers (WLTW) Beats on Q4 Earnings, Gives View

Willis Towers (WLTW) beats our earnings estimate. Our consensus called for EPS of $1.61, and the company reported EPS of $1.88.

09 февраля, 11:31

Judge Blocks $48 Billion Anthem-Cigna Merger

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc’s proposed $54 billion merger with smaller rival Cigna Corp, derailing an unprecedented effort to consolidate the country’s health insurance industry. The U.S. Justice Department sued in July to stop Anthem’s purchase of Cigna, a deal that would have created the largest U.S. health insurer by membership, and Aetna Inc’s planned $33 billion acquisition of Humana. The merger would have worsened an already highly concentrated market and is likely to raise prices, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said while issuing the ruling against Anthem’s deal. Last month, a different U.S. judge ruled against Aetna’s proposed deal for Humana. Government antitrust officials argued that both deals would lead to less competition and higher prices for Americans. The acquisitions would have reduced the number of large national U.S. insurers from five to three. Jackson had separated the Justice Department’s case into two trials. Her ruling focused only on the first one in which the Justice Department argued that the tie-up would hurt the ability of large national employers to get competitive rates for the health coverage they provide workers. The second trial considered overlaps in the two insurers’ business selling health benefits to individuals, and administering Medicare Advantage coverage to the elderly. Anthem argued that there was enough competition because large companies with more than 5,000 employees often used multiple smaller players in the national market, but the judge disagreed. “Regional firms and new specialized ‘niche’ companies that lack a national network are not viable options for the vast majority of national accounts, and they will not ameliorate the anticompetitive effects of this merger,” Jackson wrote. Cigna intends to carefully review the opinion and evaluate its options in accordance with the merger agreement, it said in a statement. Anthem said on Thursday that it intends to promptly file a notice of appeal and request an expedited hearing of its appeal to reverse the court’s decision.   function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible); PROTECTING CONSUMERS Acting Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said the ruling had prevented American consumers from facing higher health insurance premiums and less innovation. Bill Baer, who was head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division when it decided to sue to block both the insurance deals but has since left the agency, also hailed the decision. “Together with the decision on Aetna and Humana, this preserves five large national providers of critically important health insurance products,” he said. The fifth player, UnitedHealth Group Inc. was not involved in the deals. Some Wall Street analysts expect all four of the companies to now move on, although Aetna and Humana have not committed to doing so. Their deal expires Feb. 15. “The likelihood of success in an appeal would be very low,” said Matthew L. Cantor, a partner in the law firm of Constantine Cannon in New York. He noted points in the judge’s order about the concentrated national market, the high barrier to entry for competitors, and the companies’ roles as direct competitors. The deals were announced at a time when former President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law was fully in place and the four insurers were growing in the individual insurance market it established. The insurers said new costs, from higher taxes to investments in new Obamacare products, were driving their need for scale. That landscape is less certain now. Aetna and Humana have cut back Obamacare enrollment for 2017 after losses, and President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans are weighing a “repeal and replace” path for Obamacare. More deals may be in the offing, JPMorgan analyst Gary Taylor said in a research note. “Given Anthem and Cigna’s pursuit of Humana in 2015, we think new potential combinations could emerge.” He does not expect shares in either Anthem or Cigna to move given that investors had expected this ruling. Cigna is entitled to receive from Anthem a $1.85 billion break-up fee if the deal fails to win regulatory approval, according to the merger agreement. The agreement also requires Cigna to have put forth its best effort on that front. But Anthem and Cigna disagreed about the deal in court, Jackson wrote in her order, with Cigna refusing to sign off on Anthem’s interpretation of how the companies could garner savings. Anthem is the largest member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and operates BCBS plans in 14 states. It and said it could apply its discounts to Cigna members while Cigna said its collaborations with doctors would save money. Pre-merger integration was stalled and incomplete, the judge said. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Выбор редакции
09 февраля, 07:28

US federal court blocks $48bn Anthem-Cigna merger

Judge says deal might substantially reduce competition in concentrated market 

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09 февраля, 04:20

U.S. court blocks Anthem-Cigna merger, dealing blow to consolidation

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc's proposed $54 billion merger with smaller rival Cigna Corp , derailing an unprecedented effort to consolidate the country's health insurance industry.

Выбор редакции
09 февраля, 04:17

Anthem's Cigna takeover bid blocked by federal judge

Read full story for latest details.

Выбор редакции
09 февраля, 04:10

Federal Judge Blocks "Anticompetitive" Anthem Aquisition Of Cigna

Moments ago a federal judge blocked health insurer Anthem from acquiring rival Cigna, the second court ruling in recent weeks to deal a decisive blow to health insurers seeking consolidation as a cure to the substantially higher operating costs plaguing the industry as a result of Obamacare.  The ruling echoed a decision by a different judge last month who blocked Aetna’s plans to take over Humana.  Though the two proposed insurer combinations were different in many ways, both judges found that merging top industry rivals threatened higher prices without the necessary patient benefits to offset those higher costs.  Per the Wall Street Journal: The decision, by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, said the proposed $48 billion deal violated federal antitrust law because it would create an unacceptable reduction in the number of companies that can serve large national employers that insure their workers.     Of course, as the Journal notes, while the decision could be challenged by Aetna, rising tensions between the two companies make an appeal unlikely.  While Aetna is considering a possible appeal in its case, Wednesday’s ruling almost certainly kills the Anthem-Cigna transaction, as discord between the companies has grown considerably since they announced their deal in July 2015.   At the deal’s inception, the insurers said their marriage would create a diversified, innovative and more efficient health insurer. But the two sides’ relationship soured over time as they clashed over leadership styles and visions for the future.   The companies squabbled during the Justice Department’s review of the transaction and eventually accused each other of violating the merger agreement. As we noted last summer, several massive health insurers were forced to pull out of Obamacare exchanges all around the country after losing $100's of millions of dollars serving unprofitable markets in 2016.  Aetna even warned that failure to close proposed mega-mergers in the industry would only result in further withdrawals and less customer options.  In a July 5 letter to the Justice Department, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Aetna said that if the Humana deal drew a legal challenge, “instead of expanding to 20 states next year, we would reduce our presence to no more than 10 states.” In addition, the letter, signed by Aetna Chief Executive Mark T. Bertolini, said the insurer believed “it is very likely that we would need to leave the public exchange business entirely and plan for additional business efficiencies should our deal ultimately be blocked.”   Sure enough, one month later, Aetna executed on its warning with a dramatic reduction of its Obamacare offerings. It may only escalate from there.   The company said in the letter that an antitrust suit or a successful prevention of its deal would create financial strains that would force it to pull back from the exchanges, where it was losing money. “Although we remain supportive of the Administration’s efforts to expand coverage, we must also face market realities. Our customers expect us to keep their insurance products affordable and continually improving, and our shareholders expect that we will generate a market return on invested capital for them,” the letter said.   While it is undisputed that contrary to expectations, Obamacare has ended up being a far greater drain on profits than insurance providers had expected - on August 2, Aetna disclosed that its ACA plans had lost approximately $200 million in the second quarter of 2016 and were expected to lose more than $300 million this year - this type of "bargaining" with the government is disturbing, as it suggests a quid-pro-quo arrangement with the government is not only possible but expected when making corporate decisions. The two maps below prove the point above beautifully by illustrating the epic collapse of Obamacare coverage in just 1 year.  A collapse that has left a stunning number of people across the country with only 1 option for health insurance.  Meanwhile, healthcare shoppers in Pinal County, Arizona will actually be left with no options in 2017 as all carriers have abandoned service there. (charts per the New York Times) 2016 healthcare insurance carriers by county:   2017 healthcare insurance carriers by county:   Of course, if Republicans have their way then the entire original premise of this merger may be rendered moot in a few months anyway.