In conjunction with the group, Cigna also said it would invest $200 million to improve health in the local communities it serves, including a $25 million investment over five years to combat children`s health, first by improving nutrition. Experts also doubt that the merger will increase the transparency of the complex health care system. PBM`s business is notoriously mysterious, and a change of ownership of PBM is unlikely to change that, critics of the merger said. In addition, a competitive insurance market is needed to save less on customers, but the insurance industry has rapidly consolidated. Investor Carl Icahn said in early August that he planned to vote against the merger with Express Scripts because he believes the $54 billion price is too high, according to The Wall Street Journal. Icahn owns less than 5% of Cigna`s shares. About 90% of the votes cast agree with the merger treaty, Cigna said. The final results of the vote will be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The $67 billion deal, which connects a health insurance giant to the country`s largest pharmacy services manager, is the second mega-merger for insurance in 2018, behind the $70 billion deal between CVS Health and Aetna.
Health care companies are consolidating to reduce increased health care spending and fend off new competitors. Cigna said they expected the merger to be completed by the end of 2018, subject to customary completion conditions and regulatory approvals. Cigna Corp. and Express Scripts said they completed their merger on Thursday, less than a year after the companies agreed for the first time to reach a deal that further changes the health landscape. Cigna shareholders have approved the proposed merger with Express Scripts, a leading pharmaceutical company. Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna and St. Louis-based Express Scripts say their merger positions them to lower healthcare costs and deliver better care outcomes. According to the insurer, their combination allows Cigna to ”significantly accelerate the number and breadth of value-based relationships” and promote transparency and interaction with customers. I spent three decades writing about the health care system, starting with my country, Iowa, where I reported the bus trips of Bill and Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign through the Cigna and Express Scripts, which had shortened all the permits needed for the Confederacy and the states as of Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Justice signed the agreement in September after concluding that it was unlikely to harm consumers or competition in the PBM market. Federal supervisors did not require divestitures for their approval. The Cigna agreement, which was acquiesced by the Department of Justice without having to give in, brings together a health insurer that focuses heavily on employers with a large pharmacy benefits manager.