It's official: Shareholders OK Aetna-Humana merger
- On Monday, shareholders for both Aetna and Humana unanimously approved the pending merger of both insurers.
- The merger must now receive the approval of federal regulators still examining potential anti-trust concerns.
- Aetna's purchase of Humana has already faced opposition from within; Humana recently settled a lawsuit from two shareholders who argued the arrangement wasn't a fair deal for them and executives were lured onboard with multi-million dollar severance packages, as previously reported by Healthcare Dive.
The $37 billion deal is far from over. Federal regulators still need to give their stamp of approval before the companies can seal the deal. According to a Forbes article, hospitals and doctors are none too pleased over the acquisition as it could threaten competition in the health benefits for seniors market.
As previously reported in Healthcare Dive, Humana had nearly 3.2 million people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of July, just short of market leader UnitedHealth, providing a powerful incentive for the combination. According to the Forbes article, “UnitedHealth Group, which is currently the nation’s largest health plan, would fall to No. 2 with the larger Aetna becoming the third-largest publicly traded health plan.”
In a prepared statement, Humana noted both companies continue to expect the transaction will be completed in the latter half of 2016.
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