Missouri bars Aetna-Humana merger for certain insurance products

Missouri's insurance department has issued a preliminary order that would ban merged insurance giants Aetna and Humana from selling certain insurance products in the state.

John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, ordered that if Aetna's acquisition of Humana is eventually finalized, both insurers and all of their subsidiaries must cease and desist from offering comprehensive individual coverage, comprehensive small group coverage, individual Medicare Advantage coverage and group Medicare Advantage coverage in the state.

Mr. Huff wrote "there is substantial evidence that the acquisition would lessen competition in these lines" in light of Missouri's market concentration and the significant trend toward increased concentration, the minimal volatility of the ranking of market leaders, and the small number of competitors and their dwindling numbers.

Click here to read the Missouri Department of Insurance's findings and order on the merger.

The Aetna-Humana merger has gained approval from numerous other states, including Florida and Kentucky. Aetna has secured 15 of the 20 state approvals required for its acquisition of Humana, five of which have come in the past two months.

Mr. Huff's order is not yet finalized. Aetna and Humana have 30 days to submit a correction plan for the "anticompetitive impact of the acquisition."

Aetna issued a formal statement on the matter: "This order does not impede the DOJ approval process. We are disappointed with the Missouri order but expect to have a constructive dialogue with the state to address their concerns."

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said Aetna has secured 10 of the 20 state approvals required for its acquisition of Humana. The story has been updated to reflect the change.

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