Forbes, October 10, 2018
Bruce Japsen


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The U.S. Justice Department Wednesday agreed to allow CVS Health's acquisition of health insurance giant Aetna once Aetna's Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business for individuals is divested.

The preliminary agreement with the government's antitrust lawyers comes after Aetna agreed to divest its Medicare drug plans to WellCare Health Plans. The Justice Department described Wellcare as an "experienced health insurer focused on government-sponsored health plans, including Medicare Part D individual prescription drug plans," saying the divestiture "would fully resolve the Department’s competition concerns."

“Today’s settlement resolves competition concerns posed by this transaction and preserves competition in the sale of Medicare Part D prescription drug plans for individuals,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in announcing the agreement.  “The divestitures required here allow for the creation of an integrated pharmacy and health benefits company that has the potential to generate benefits by improving the quality and lowering the costs of the healthcare services that American consumers can obtain.”

CVS said the Justice Department announcement puts the merger on track to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of this year. The deal, however, still needs approval of state regulators who generally follow the lead of federal antitrust regulators. [...]

insurance market medicaremedicaid pharmaceuticals public health regulation