Anthem brings rejection of Cigna deal to Supreme Court

Anthem filed a petition Friday calling for a U.S. Supreme Court review of a decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals denying a $54 billion merger between Indianapolis-based Anthem and Hartford, Conn.-based Cigna.

A three-judge appellate court delivered a 2-1 decision last week upholding a lower court's decision that the deal would be harmful to consumers, increase prices and thwart innovation and competition. Anthem said in a statement this decision "would limit access to high quality affordable care for millions of Americans and deny them more than $2 billion in medical cost savings annually." The payer called the court's merger precedents outdated and in need of an update "to reflect the modern understanding of economics and consumer benefit."

Because one judge — Brett Kavanaugh — dissented, Anthem is filing a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court. "[T]he record evidence decisively demonstrates that this merger would be beneficial to the employer-customers who obtain insurance services from Anthem and Cigna," Judge Kavanaugh said in his dissent, according to the Anthem statement.

Meanwhile, the two payers are also entwined in another dispute related to the merger. Cigna tried to get out of the deal, but is currently barred by an order from the Delaware Chancery Court, pending a decision at a May 8 hearing. At the hearing, Anthem wants to extend the court order until the Supreme Court decides on the deal.


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