The Next Big Deal? Rumored Cigna-Humana Talks Raise PBM Overlap Question

The Cigna Group is reportedly discussing a multibillion-dollar deal with Humana Inc. that would create a diversified health insurance giant capable of going toe-to-toe with UnitedHealth Group and CVS Health Corp.

Industry observers agree that such a transaction would receive robust regulatory scrutiny — with many predicting a high likelihood that federal officials will lob a legal challenge. However, opinions vary about how much the companies’ respective PBM businesses present a major antitrust risk.

News of the potential deal came from a Nov. 29 Wall Street Journal article, which cited people familiar with the matter speaking on condition of anonymity. Assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the terms of the deal could be finalized by the end of the year, the article stated.

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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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