Court Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger

January 31, 2017

A federal district judge blocked a proposed merger between Aetna and Humana last week, finding that the move would have substantially lessened competition in the commercial health insurance and Medicare Advantage markets.

TMA has long advocated against the merger between Aetna and Humana as well as a proposed merger Anthem and Cigna still being considered in the same court.

TMA believes the mergers would significantly reduce physician negotiating power with major health plans and lead to less consumer choice in insurance providers and plans.

American Medical Association President Andrew W. Gurman, MD issued a statement on the court action, noting that the decision is a particular boon for elderly patients, as the merger would make Aetna the nation’s largest seller of Medicare Advantage plans.

“Aetna’s strategy to eliminate head-to-head competition with rival Humana posed a clear and present threat to the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care for millions of seniors,” he said.

Gurman also lauded efforts of organized medicine to combat the mergers.

“The AMA’s stand against this anticompetitive merger shows again that when doctors join together, the best outcome for patients and doctors can be achieved,” he said.