25 Annals Health L. 98 (2016)
Health Insurer Merger Frenzy: How the Continued Arms Race Will Disrupt Traditional Market Roles

handle is hein.journals/anohl25 and id is 208 raw text is: 










Health Insurer Merger Frenzy: How the Continued
  Arms Race Will Disrupt Traditional Market Roles

                 Erin E. Dine and  MaryKathryn Hurd*

                             INTRODUCTION
   Health care is an inherently irrational market. Unlike any other consumer
market, the demand   for health care is irregular and unpredictable. Illness
knows  no economic  boundaries. Individuals do not receive advance notice as
to  when   illness will arrive, evidence  of health  care-s spontaneity-s
dismantling  effect. Illness creates an  immediacy for action that is
unparalleled to any other  market  With  illness, our physical and mental
abilities, our livelihoods, and our lifestyles are at risk and that risk exists for
all. Due to health-s unpredictable nature, but ubiquitous societal need, health
care insurers are continuously challenged to craft successful markets around
such volatility.
   T he Affordable Care Act (A CA),1 market pressures, and growing provider
consolidation  have  created the  opportunity for  proposed  mega-health
insurance mergers  between  Aetna  and Humana   and Anthem   and  Cigna.2
While  antitrust laws will evaluate these proposed  mergers, whether  the
agencies  enforcing  these  laws  will ultimately prevent  this  potential
competitive  oligopoly remains  unknown.   If the proposed  mergers  pass
antitrust regulators- approval process, these transactions would produce three
mega-i nsurance companies  domi nati ng the health insurance market forcing
health systems to keep the reimbursement arms race even by consolidating.
In their current roles, insurance companies pressure providers to keep costs


* Erin E. Dine is aJ.D. Candidate, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 2017, Beazley
Institute for Health Law and Policy Fellow. MaryKathryn Hurd is aJ.D. Candidate, Loyola
University Chicago School of Law, 2017, Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy Fellow.
  1.  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 42 U.S.C. f 18001 (2010).
  2. Aetna to Acquire Hurnna for $37 Billion, Combined Entity to Drive Consurmer-
Focused, High-Value Healthcare, AETNA UJuly 3, 2015), https://news.aetna.comnews-
releases/aetna-to-acquire-hurmna-for-37-billion-com-bined-entity-to-drive-consurmer-
focused-high-value-health-care/; Anthem Announces Definitive Agreermnt to Acquire Cigna
Corporation, ANTHEM, INC. U uly 24, 2015), http:/ir.antheminc.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=1301
04& p=irol-newsA rticle&ID=2070832.


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