Aetna's offer to buy Humana would expand Aetna's product portfolio from primarily commercial insurance plans to include Medicare managed care plans. Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow, driven by the Affordable Care Act and a surge in retiring baby boomers.
Aetna said it will acquire its smaller competitor Humana for $37 billion in cash and stock, the insurance industry's biggest deal ever. The acquisition would almost triple Aetna's Medicare Advantage business. Many health care mergers and acquisitions have been delayed as the industry awaited last week's Supreme Court ruling on the U.S. health care law, analysts said.
Aetna and Catholic Health Initiatives unit CHI Health will offer an accountable care coverage option to employers in the Omaha, Neb., area. The new Aetna Whole Health–CHI Health Accountable Care Network could save employers up to 15% compared with Aetna's traditional plans. The network will include 13 hospitals, 500 primary care physicians and 2,000 specialists.
An accountable care deal was recently signed between Aetna and Valley Preferred in Pennsylvania under which Aetna will launch fully insured health plans on April 1 that will use the Valley Preferred network of doctors. "Valley Preferred's ACO physicians, care coordination efforts and quality improvement programs, together with Aetna, will work to achieve measurable advancements in patient care and cost control for the employers and families of Lehigh and Northampton counties," said Valley Preferred Executive Director Dr. Jack Lenhart.