For those of you who do not closely follow the insurance world, Hartford-based Aetna Inc. is considering a buyout deal with CVS Health Corp.. According to undisclosed sources from Dow Jones, CVS is hoping to finalize the deal for $66 billion.
The same Dow Jones article reported that the rumour of Amazon possibly getting involved in the pharmacy space was the primary impetus behind the buyout. The deal would allow CVS to make better use of its brick-and-mortar spaces by selling insurance and drawing blood—two services that Amazon will not be able to easily match.
This buyout would actually be good news for most consumers as it would allow one company to offer insurance and pharmacy services. Essentially, CVS would be cutting out the middleman and offering all of those services under one corporate umbrella.
Reports of this buyout first appeared in October of 2017, not long after Aetna had a bid to purchase rival health insurer Humana rebuffed by U.S. government regulators. Aetna contended that the acquisition would help them to expand their presence in the lucrative Medicare Advantage business. However, government regulators saw it more as stifling the competition and monopolizing their market.
Aetna has been keeping busy. They also recently announced that they are moving their headquarters from Connecticut to New York, City in an effort to better tap into “the knowledge economy”.
A CVS/Aetna buyout would likely get a pass from government regulators, but there’s no definitive answer until it happens. If these rumors are true, we might not have to wait long to find out.