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Missouri says Aetna-Humana merger is anticompetitive

Posted On: May. 25, 2016 12:00 AM CST

Missouri insurance officials have issued a preliminary order against the merger of Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., the first state to find a problem with the massive transaction between the giants.

Missouri Department of Insurance Director John Huff wrote that if Aetna's $37 billion takeover of Humana goes through, the two health insurers “shall cease and desist from doing business” throughout the entire state with regard to certain health insurance products. Specifically, all of their individual, small group and group Medicare Advantage plans would be forced out.

Their individual Medicare Advantage plans would be kicked out in certain Missouri counties where competition would be heavily reduced.

However, Aetna and Humana have 30 days to “submit a plan to remedy the anticompetitive impact of the acquisition.”

Bob Herman writes for Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Business Insurance.