More on Mergers & Acquisitions

Missouri rejects Aetna, Humana merger, would block business if takeover continues

The companies did not show enough evidence that the acquisition would be a public benefit, state says.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Missouri state regulators on Wednesday said they will not support Aetna's proposed $37 billion takeover of Humana, according to documents filed May 24 by John M. Huff, director of the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration for the state.

Should the acquisition go through, Aetna and Humana and all of their subsidiaries would be barred from doing business throughout the state with respect to the Comprehensive Individual, Comprehensive Small Group and Group Medicare Advantage Markets.

The companies did not show enough evidence that the acquisition would be a public benefit, increase the availability of insurance in Missouri, or that the merger would result in efficiencies for the insurers, Huff said.

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[Also: Aetna says Humana merger on track, reports big gains in Medicare Advantage segment]

"Gregory Martino, assistant vice president for Aetna, in state government affairs, admitted that none of his testimony about the claimed nationwide benefits from the proposed acquisition applied specifically to Missouri," Huff wrote.

Aetna and Humana have 30 days to answer the anticompetitive concerns.

Aetna and Humana are the fifth and sixth largest insurers in the state, respectively, in the small group market, behind Anthem, UnitedHealth and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

The merger, and the $54 billion proposal to consolidate Anthem and Cigna, are currently before federal regulators and officials in numerous states. Missouri is the first that has rejected the merger. In March, physician groups in Florida asked the attorney general to block the consolidation of Aetna and Humana in that state.

[Also: Physician groups ask Florida attorney general to block Aetna-Humana merger]

Twitter: @SusanJMorse