U.S. Court of Appeals upholds ruling to block Anthem-Cigna merger
News: 2017 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones applauds today's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to uphold the lower court ruling blocking the proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna.
"Today's federal appellate court decision affirming the district court's permanent injunction blocking 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 for consumers when it came to the Anthem-Cigna merger," said Commissioner Jones. "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."
Last year Commissioner Jones held an extensive public hearing where members of the public, Anthem and Cigna executives, consumer advocates, medical professionals, and anti-trust experts provided testimony regarding potential impacts of the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger. After reviewing all the evidence, Jones concluded the Anthem-Cigna merger was bad for consumers and businesses, and bad for health insurance markets. Jones issued detailed findings of fact and law and urged the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger because it is anti-competitive and would harm California consumers, businesses, and the California health insurance market. The Department of Justice sued to block the merger and the federal district court issued an order blocking the merger consistent with Jones' findings.
- The proposed merger transaction was valued at $54.2 billion when it was announced in July of last year.
- Decision Letter to Department of Justice
- American Medical Association brief citing Jones' findings
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 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.