On March 3rd, 2016, three major consumer groups, Consumers Union, U.S. PIRG, and Consumer Action, filed comments to Delaware Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Makowski regarding the proposed merger of Anthem-Cigna. The purpose of these comments was to raise concerns about the merger and its impact on healthcare within Delaware, and to request the ability to designate a witness at the March 10th public hearing on the merger. The parties noted a number of issues with the merger including reduced competition. Here are some of the specific points raised:
Delaware’s health insurance markets are comparatively weak and this merger will make the situation worse; in 2013 the three largest commercial insurers for individual, small group, and large group markets enrolled 92% of Delawareans. The most dominant insurer is Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, with 53% market share, and which is also the dominant insurer on the exchange. This merger would enhance "fortress Highmark" by eliminating important rivalry from Cigna.
The Delaware Department of Insurance is empowered to develop remedies to effectively prevent the harm this merger would cause to competition and consumers. It should consider requiring Anthem to receive permission to waive Blue Cross Blue Shield’s rules in Delaware, especially the market allocation rule.
To see the full comments and the letter from the American Hospital Association submitted to Deputy Attorney General Makowski, click here.
Delaware held a hearing on the Anthem-Cigna merger on June 7th, 2016.