Nov 9 Aetna Inc, which in August agreed
to buy smaller Coventry Health Care Inc for $5.6
billion, on Friday said that antitrust regulators have asked the
companies for more information related to their review of the
Aetna said that the companies are still planning to close
the deal in the middle of 2013. This is the U.S. Department of
Justice's second request for information.
Antitrust regulators review deals like this to make sure
that there would still be sufficient competition after the deal
For instance, Aetna competitor WellPoint Inc., which is
seeking DOJ approval to buy health insurer Amerigroup Corp.
, in September said that it had received additional
antitrust regulator queries and would sell its managed care
operations in Virginia.
Aetna, which provides health care insurance for large
corporations and also offers government-backed insurance for
older people nationwide, is seeking to buy Coventry to increase
its access to Medicare and Medicaid, the government program for
As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rolls into
place, millions more people are expected to be covered by
government-paid insurance, particularly Medicaid.
Coventry has nearly 1 million members in its Medicaid
business and about 250,000 in Medicare Advantage.
Aetna has 18.2 million members in its insurance plans,
including 1.2 million members in Medicaid plans and 443,000 in
Aetna said on Oct. 5 that it was re-filing its merger
notification with the DOJ in order to give the agency more time
for review before the 30 day waiting period expires under the
Aetna and Coventry were not immediately available for