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Post date: July 21 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Joins Justice Department And Ten States Seeking To Stop Anticompetitive Merger Between Health Insurers Anthem And Cigna

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
July 21, 2016

New York City Press Office / 212-416-8060
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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN JOINS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND TEN STATES SEEKING TO STOP ANTICOMPETITIVE MERGER BETWEEN HEALTH INSURERS ANTHEM AND CIGNA

Merger Could Substantially Reduce Competition Among Large Employer Plans In New York And Nationally, Potentially Affecting Millions Of People, Including Hundreds Of Thousands Of New Yorkers

Schneiderman: My Office Will Do Everything Possible To Prevent Mergers That May Harm Patients By Raising Their Costs Or Reducing Access To Quality Healthcare

NEW YORK– Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that New York has joined a joint federal/state complaint alleging that the proposed merger between insurance giants Anthem and Cigna would be anticompetitive and should be stopped.  Anthem and Cigna are two of the top five national health insurance carriers in the United States, and Anthem is the second largest carrier in New York State.  The proposed transaction has the potential to impact the accessibility, affordability, quality, and availability of health care for hundreds of thousands of individuals in the New York metropolitan area.

“Affordable, quality health care is essential to the well-being of all Americans,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Most consumers are covered by insurance plans that their employers choose and negotiate with companies like Anthem and Cigna.  By reducing competition, this proposed merger has the potential to significantly increase the merged firm’s power in the marketplace, to the detriment of consumers. Employers will be left with fewer choices, and ultimately consumers could be saddled with higher premium costs, reduced access to providers, and lower quality care.  I stand with my federal and state partners in fighting to stop this merger before it harms New Yorkers.”

The lawsuit, which was filed today in federal court in Washington, D.C. by the Department of Justice, New York, ten other states, and the District of Columbia, seeks a court order halting the merger between the two companies.  The complaint alleges that the consolidation would reduce competition for large-group employer plans in 35 local markets in which Anthem does business, including the New York City metropolitan area.  It also alleges that the merger would reduce competition in the market for national plans sold to large employers covering employees throughout the country, including New Yorkers.  In addition, it charges that the merger has the potential to drive down reimbursement rates for healthcare providers in a manner that might affect access to and quality of health care services in some areas of the country, including the New York City metropolitan area.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Irina C. Rodríguez of the Antitrust Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Elinor R. Hoffmann. The Antitrust Bureau is part of the Division of Economic Justice, led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Manisha M. Sheth.

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