Merger mania in US health insurance industry

Question remains whether consumers will benefit as insurers grow larger

New York

AMERICA'S five largest health insurance companies are circling each other like hungry lions closing in on prey.

On Friday, Aetna said it would acquire its smaller rival Humana to create a company with combined revenues of US$115 billion this year. Anthem is stalking Cigna. UnitedHealth Group, now the largest of the five, is looking at its options. At the end of the manoeuvrings, three national behemoths are likely to emerge.

There is also a scramble among the smaller insurers. On Thursday,...


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