- The Insurance Department of Connecticut rejected a formal request from the International Business Times for documents related to the pending merger between Anthem and Cigna.
- Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy's (D) administration denied having in its custody any records about conference calls between a Cigna lobbyist, who is leading the review process, and the insurance giants that the publication had requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
- The rejection comes a day after Anthem requested a double digit rate increase (26.8% on average) for its ACA individual plans, the Connecticut News Project reported.
Anthem's $54 billion acquisition of Cigna has already been approved in some states. Florida insurance regulators gave the insurer the greenlight in April to acquire Cigna's Florida companies.
However, Cigna recently questioned whether the megamerger will be approved by the end of the year, after which shares for both insurers dropped.
Malloy's administration is being criticized over how its been handling the approval process, particularly because it appointed a longtime Cigna lobbyist Katherine Wade to lead it, according to the IBT report.
IBT had previously obtained documents that show Wade and her staff to have held conference calls with the health insurance giants and their lobbying firm about how the merger has progressed in other states. The publication then requested all the notes, transcripts, minutes or recordings from those calls.
“The department does not have in its custody or possession any responsive documents,” wrote agency counsel Anthony Caporale, adding that under the state's open records laws, “any documents received from Anthem or Cigna and related to the proposed merger are confidential.”
Democracy for America (DFA) is calling for Malloy to replace Wade due to conflicted interests.
"In addition to immediately replacing Insurance Commissioner Wade, Governor Malloy needs to lead an open, public, independent, and transparent process regarding the Anthem-Cigna merger," DFA chair Jim Dean said in a statement.