Federal court blocks Anthem-Cigna health insurer merger citing anti-trust
News: 2017 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement following the federal court decision blocking the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger:
"Today's federal court decision to block the merger of two of the nation's largest health insurers is a significant win for consumers who need more choice, not less, in an already highly concentrated health insurance market. Bigger was definitely not better when it comes to the Anthem-Cigna merger.
Last year I held an extensive public hearing on the proposed merger. After reviewing all the evidence, I concluded the Anthem-Cigna merger was bad for consumers and businesses, and bad for health insurance and health care markets. I issued detailed findings of fact and law and urged the U.S. Department of Justice to sue to block this merger because it is anti-competitive and would harm California consumers, businesses, and the California health insurance market.
Allowing a merger between two of the largest health insurers in the country would have increased the price of health insurance, and decreased choice and the quality of healthcare for consumers and businesses. I am very pleased the federal district court entered a decision consistent with my findings and legal conclusions that the Anthem-Cigna merger is anti-competitive.
Competition helps restrain prices, provides choice, and improves quality. The Anthem-Cigna merger would have reduced competition in a market already dominated by just a few health insurers."
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $288 billion in premiums annually in California. In 2015 the California Department of Insurance received more than 155,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $84 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.