Centene, UnitedHealth Start New Year With Acquisitions

Although 2021 has just begun, major health insurers appear to be wasting no time when it comes to spending the influx of cash that they’ve collected as a result of reimbursing lower-than-normal medical claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Jan. 4, Centene Corp. revealed that it struck a deal to purchase Magellan Health, Inc. for $2.2 billion, a transaction that promises to augment the insurer’s existing behavioral health, specialty health care and pharmacy management assets. Just two days later, UnitedHealth Group said it plans to purchase the technology company Change Healthcare for approximately $13 billion, a deal that adds “key technologies, connections and advanced clinical decision, administrative and financial support capabilities” to UnitedHealth’s analytics and advisory arm, OptumInsight.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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