In a lawsuit seeking to block the merger of health insurance companies Aetna and Humana, the U.S. Department of Justice cited decreased competition on state individual health insurance exchanges as one reason why the merger shouldn’t happen.
We closed out 2015 with the health insurance market poised to get a lot smaller, as Anthem proposed to by Cigna and Aetna said it would buy Humana. If both mergers go through, the number of large nationwide health insurance carriers would drop to just three… a big challenge in a U.S. that’s seen the market for health insurance expand since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. And if reports are true, the Justice Department may feel that’s just too much contraction.
What a difference a month makes: Just a few weeks ago, Cigna rejected Anthem as a suitor, citing things like the major data breach the company suffered earlier this year and turning down its $47 billion merger bid. It seems Anthem has been busy a-courtin’, as the company announced this morning that it’s reached a deal to buy Cigna for $54 billion, effectively creating an insurance giant.
Alex is 24 years old and was laid off last year. He’s trying to sign up for a high-deductible health insurance plan from Humana One, but they’ve rejected him because he’s got a mess of health issues: “At my last checkup I mentioned occasional knee pain, occasional indigestion, and the fact that I experienced palpitations extremely rarely.” Or as Human describes it, “a medical history of bursitis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, palpitations and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).”
Had a problem with my Mom’s Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan with Humana. Their mail order pharmacy (RightSource) advertises a two-week turnaround from date of sending-in an order to receipt of medications. However after three weeks, RightSource had not acknowledged receipt of the order. A RightSource phone rep said the logging-in of orders was being delayed by two to three weeks due to heavy volume. This delay — in the case of meds for a 93 year-old lady — was unacceptable.