- The American Hospital Association (AHA) is arguing Anthem's plan to acquire Cigna will make it more difficult for other insurers to compete with Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and result in higher premiums.
- Anthem is the second-largest health insurer in the U.S. and operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states. The AHA says the plans are already significantly larger than their competitors in many states.
- The AHA took its stance through a letter sent Monday to Assistant U.S. Attorney General William Baer, in which the group asks the Department of Justice to challenge the deal.
Combining Anthem's already massive Blue Cross Blue Shield plans with Cigna's would afford them too much power for others to be able to compete on negotiations with providers and premiums they could offer to consumers, the AHA argues.
"The acquisition threatens to both reinforce existing barriers to entry and raise new ones, further entrench dominant Blue plans, and exacerbate conditions conducive to abuse of market or monopoly power," AHA wrote in the letter.
Anthem responded with a statement that they only partially overlap with Cigna in where they operate their plans. "We will deliver for consumers by operating more efficiently to reduce our own costs, while enhancing our ability to manage the cost drivers that negatively impact affordability for consumers," Anthem said.
If the merger goes through, Anthem will move up to become the largest health insurer in the U.S.