The ACA's impact on insurer consolidation

With the uncertainty of King v. Burwell in the health insurance industry's rear-view mirror, the time might be right to strike acquisition deals. Amid merger and acquisition rumors, many industry experts say the Affordable Care Act is fueling deals. "The ACA is driving a variety of changes," former Obama administration official Steven Rattner said on CNBC last week. "But consolidation within the hospital arena and insurer arena was probably coming anyway."

Meanwhile, health economists question whether consolidation will lead to greater efficiencies for the industry. Pending deals among major insurers is reminiscent of the airline sector, "and I don't think there have been efficiencies gained there," Bob Town, a healthcare professor at the Wharton School, told California Healthline. For insurers, "it's a little less clear where they get those efficiencies," he added. Article