On December 16th, 2015, an unprecedented group of major consumer groups and unions including Consumers Union, Florida CHAIN, Florida Rural Health Association, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, Florida Policy Institute, Consumer Action, Florida PIRG, and 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East - Florida filed comments to Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty regarding the proposed mergers of Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana. The purpose of these comments was to raise concerns about the two mergers and their impact on healthcare within Florida. The parties noted a number of issues with the mergers including potential higher premiums for consumers. Here are a number of specific points raised:
The mergers would be presumptively illegal under the law and create significant overlaps in Florida in a number of different insurance products including commercial, ASO, and Medicare Advantage.
There has been limited to no entry within the Florida market with 66 percent of counties offering either one or two insurers to consumers on the Exchange.
There is a concern, particularly within Florida, that these mergers could further reduce network adequacy-- as noted by the FOIR network adequacy has become a serious issue within the state.
Divestitures as a remedy may not effectively restore competition, but the Florida Insurance Commissioner can enact substantial remedies that may.
To see the comments for the Anthem-Cigna Hearing on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website please click here, or here for the Aetna-Humana Hearing. Additionally the Comments can be found here as a PDF.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved the Aetna-Humana merger on February 15th, 2016, and it approved the Anthem-Cigna merger on April 1st, 2016.