Yesterday, the Connecticut Campaign for Consumer Choice held a public forum called “Insurance Mergers: What You Need to Know” in Mansfield Center, Connecticut. They hosted the hour-long event along with Representatives Gregg Haddad, Linda Orange, Susan Johnson, and Senator Mae Flexer.
The hosts examined the merger of Anthem-Cigna and its impact on consumers, healthcare providers, and the health insurance market. Matthew Katz, Chief Executive Office of the Connecticut State Medical Society stated that “this merger can create a monopolistic power that we’ve never seen before” and that the resulting company would possess 64% of the market, and possess 70-75% in some parts of the state. Senior Policy Officer Jill Zorn at the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut emphasized that a monopoly have harmful effects by leading to higher healthcare prices and out-of-pocket costs. Doctors may also be moved out of networks, and consumers might have reduced choice of providers, since many insurance plans have quite limited networks.
Senator Mae Flexer said that if this merger is allowed to proceed, “we’re going to wake up one day and have a health care system that is unrecognizable.” The Connecticut Department of Insurance is planning on holding a public hearing on the Anthem-Cigna merger, but the hearing has not yet been scheduled. In the meantime, Connecticut consumers who are interested in learning more about the mergers and taking action should contact the Connecticut Campaign for Consumer Choice.