AMA takes aim at health insurance mergers

A new study from the American Medical Association indicates that a merger between Anthem and Cigna would exceed federal antitrust guidelines intended to preserve competition in 85 metropolitan areas within 13 states, according to an AMA announcement of the findings. The Aetna-Humana merger, meanwhile, would "diminish competition" in 58 metropolitan areas within 14 states. These findings echo that of a recent Commonwealth Fund brief, which found that only one county in the U.S. has a competitive Medicare Advantage (MA) market. "If a health insurer merger is likely to erode competition, employers and patients may be charged higher than competitive premiums, and physicians may be pressured to accept unfair terms that undermine their role as patient advocates and their ability to provide high-quality care," AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D., said in the announcement. Read the full story from FierceHealthPayer