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Anthem grows its power with Cigna buyout

You know a merger is a big deal when the US press goes to town on it, and that is what happened when Anthem announced it was to buy out Cigna. The move consolidates two of the big players in the US healthcare market, and will as a single unit the firms will cover around 53 million medical members, including commercial, government, consumer and niche markets.

The merger will create a US industry leader, allowing or broader diversification and greater capabilities in delivering healthcare. Announcing the deal, Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of Anthem said: “We are pleased to announce an agreement that will deliver meaningful value to consumers and shareholders through expanded provider collaboration, enhanced affordability and cost of care management capabilities, and superior innovations that deliver a high quality healthcare experience for consumers. We believe this transaction will allow us to enhance our competitive position and be better positioned to apply the insights and access of a broad network and dedicated local presence to the healthcare challenges of increasingly diverse markets, membership, and communities we serve.”

David M Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, said: “Our companies share proud histories and an even brighter future. Going forward our new company will deliver an acceleration of innovative and affordable health and protection benefits solutions.”

David Heppard, head of international at IHC, London, said: “This is welcomed news if it results in a more efficient and ‘global’ offering as one company. However, it is important for us as brokers and advisors that the merger does not just benefit or concentrate on the local US market in the main, but brings added value and efficiencies worldwide. As this merger process might take some time to ratify, we have been assured by Cigna that it is ‘business as usual’ for at least the next 12 months. In the meantime, we are looking forward to finding out how Anthem/Cigna will be selling the benefits and USPs of the merger to its distributors and clients along with regular updates.”

The deal followed a series of negotiations and rejections, and will create a group with a giant footprint, covering swathes of the health insurance market. 

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