Aetna Merger With Humana Canceled

The announcement by Aetna and Humana comes less than a month after Bates' decision, and less than a week after another federal judge blocked a proposed merger between health insurance companies Anthem and Cigna.

It didn't take long for the other shoe to drop in government challenges to major health insurance mergers, with a federal trial court smacking down the proposed $48 billion purchase of Cigna Inc.by Anthem Inc.

Besides paying Humana a $1 billion breakup fee - about $630 million net of tax - Aetna also killed its deal with Molina Healthcare to sell some Medicare Advantage assets, which will lead to undisclosed fees.

"Anthem believes that there is still sufficient time and a viable path forward potentially to complete the transaction that will save millions of Americans more than $2 billion in annual medical costs and deliver significant value to shareholders", Anthem said.

Louisville-based Humana and Hartford, Conn. -based Aetna on Tuesday announced that they had terminated their planned merger in light of a judge blocking the deal on antitrust grounds. Under the terms of the agreement, Aetna will pay Humana $1 billion in fees.

But the Department of Justice had sued last summer to stop the deals, due to concerns about how they may affect prices and consumer choices.

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Humana also said Tuesday it was pulling out of Obamacare for 2018.

It also filed a lawsuit in DE, asking a judge to declare legal its decision to terminate the deal and to approve $13 billion in damages for shareholders who did not receive the takeover premium.

After the defeat in court on January 23, Aetna and Humana said they were weighing an appeal.

An Anthem spokeswoman said the company is still committed to closing the deal, an indication the end of the merger attempt will be played out in court. "The two prime elements of healthcare are how you finance it and how you deliver it, and in this case, the big insurance companies have their fingers in both pies".

Humana also announced that 2017 would be the previous year in which the company will offer individual commercial medical coverage, and it will service members in the 11 states where it is now active. His ruling was followed just weeks later by another judge's denial of the deal between Anthem and Cigna.

In July 2015, the Aetna announced the deal to buy Humana in a cash and stock deal that was worth around $230 per share of Humana's shares. Aetna shares rose 3 percent to $125.81, while Humana fell 0.4 percent to $205.97.

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