Business mergers and acquisitions are normal transactions that happen on a regular basis in Florida. They can give some companies the ability to grow and expand territories and to better serve their customers. They can also allow some companies that are experiencing troubles the chance to essentially stay in business rather than closing doors altogether. However, there is a delicate balance that must be achieved as well so that a fair level of competition is maintained in the marketplace.
In the world of health care insurance today, there are only a handful of select large insurers. Two of the biggest players in the market have been pursuing a merger that has many concerned. The U.S. Department of Justice has initiated efforts to prevent the merger between Aetna, Inc. and Humana, Inc. The DOJ’s efforts are being supported now also by the State of Florida which contends that if the merger is allowed to take place, consumers could experience a drop in quality of care and benefits along with an increase in costs.
One particular area of concern related to Medicare health care plans. If Humana and Aetna become one, the DOJ and the state have suggested that there would be an illegal lack of competition for these plans in multiple counties around the nation, including some in Florida. The two companies allege that their merger would be good for consumers.
What exactly will come of the insurance merger is yet to be seen. However, this situation highlights how the involvement of experienced business attorneys may be beneficial when pursuing such a deal.
Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal, “Florida joins Justice Department in suing to block Humana-Aetna merger,” Baylee Pulliam, July 21, 2016