February 29, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Commercial Payors
On March 14, the Florida Medical Association (FMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) called on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to reject the proposed merger of health insurer giants Aetna and Humana.
The organizations said that the merger would negatively impact health care access, quality and affordability in Florida. An AMA analysis found the proposed Aetna-Humana merger would potentially raise significant competitive concerns in highly populated metropolitan areas across the state.
“Competition, not consolidation, is the right prescription for Florida’s health insurance markets,” said AMA President-Elect Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. “Less competition in Florida’s already consolidated health insurance markets will lead to price increases, not to greater efficiency or lower health care costs. Given the negative long-term consequences of the proposed merger, any remedy short of rejection would not adequately protect 2.4 million people in Florida.”
The physician appeal to the attorney general’s office follows a conditional consent order that was issued last month by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. While state insurance regulators documented the extensive anticompetitive effects of the proposed merger, physicians charge that the consent order relies on flawed arguments that regulation can substitute for competition.
In addition to the $37 billion Aetna/Humana deal, health insurance giant Anthem has also agreed to purchase Cigna for $48.4 billion.
The California Medical Association (CMA) has long been concerned with the impact these consolidations are having on the health insurer market, as competition is reduced and health plan market power is increased. Click here to read CMA’s formal comments submitted to the regulator expressing its concern with the Anthem-Cigna merger.