Aetna announced plans on Thursday, September 27, to sell its Medicare prescription-drug business to WellCare Health Plans, a key step towards gaining regulator approval for its US$67.5 billion merger with CVS.
Although financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, in a securities filing, Aetna stated that the “purchase price is not material” to the company. The divestiture of the Medicare Part D to WellCare may help resolve objections to the CVS-Aetna deal from US antitrust regulators.
The company stated in the filing that, “Aetna believes the divestiture is a significant step toward completing the DOJ’s (Department of Justice) review.”
WellCare, a smaller health insurer that’s based in Tampa, Florida, has been using deals to fuel its expansion. The company completed a US$2.5 billion deal for the health insurer Meridian in early September, adding about 1.1 million insurance customers to its base of 4.4 million members.
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