Anthem CEO: Insurer 'working extremely well' with Cigna; merger decision expected in July

Earlier this week, a series of letters reviewed by The Wall Street Journal unveiled the proposed merger between Anthem and Cigna could be delayed or derailed due to squabbles between the insurers. But Anthem's CEO begs to differ.

The letters cited three areas of contention between the two health insurers: Anthem's lawsuit against Express Scripts, discrepancies about a closing date for the deal and potential delays in the regulatory review process.

But during a panel at the UBS Global Healthcare conference this week, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish denied claims that his company is bickering with Cigna. "The reality is the process is working very well," he said, according to CNBC. "The two teams are working extremely well together. We're meeting deadlines on all the submittals."

Regarding the alleged contentions between the insurers, Mr. Swedish said the insurer has been working with antitrust regulators to ensure the review process stays on track. "I think we will get a determination from the [Department of Justice] in the not too distant future," he added, according to the report.

His thoughts were echoed by Anthem General Counsel Thomas Zielinski, who said the insurer expects to meet with the DOJ in July, when more details regarding the approval, rejection or conditions of the merger will be revealed, according to Reuters.

Even if the DOJ requests the insurers meet certain conditions, General Counsel Zielinski is confident the merger will be a success. "If I have to get there, I do believe there are ways that we could construct a remediation plan ... that the DOJ would be comfortable with," he said, according to CNBC.

More articles on payer issues:
Iowa insurance commissioner sues feds over failed co-op
BCBSNC CEO calls ACA losses 'unsustainable'
5 things to know about the 2017 ACA exchanges

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