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Health insurance: Better together?

UK Only Article: 
standard article

Issue: 

The right to die

Fly Title: 

Health insurance

Rubric: 

Like hospital operators, health insurers in America are seeking to merge

REFORM of American health care was always expected to have an enormous impact on the sector. Sure enough, one of the more immediate effects was a frenzy of hospital mergers, as providers sought to raise their efficiency in response to measures in the Affordable Care Act of 2010, alias Obamacare, designed to curb their cost increases.
A similar consolidation among health insurers was also predicted. But since the new insurance exchanges set up under Obamacare only went into operation last year, it has taken until now for it to be clear how big the merger wave may be. The largest insurer, UnitedHealth, has approached the number three, Aetna. The second-largest, Anthem, is trying to buy the number five, Cigna—which on June 21st rejected Anthem’s $47.5 billion bid. And the number four, Humana, has been looking at selling itself to either Aetna or Cigna.

The frantic takeover activity seems to have …

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