CVS announced today that it has agreed to purchase Aetna for 69 Billion dollars. This would be the largest insurance deal in US History. There are still many questions that linger, leaving many skeptical of whether this would be a good thing for consumers, or possibly a hard pill to swallow.
When Will CVS Take Over Aetna?
The deal will have to be approved by antitrust regulators. If this occurs, we will then know a CVS Aetna merger date, but until then we can only speculate a time table.
How Will CVS Buying Aetna Impact Other Companies?
Aetna has 22 million members, while CVS has over 10,000 pharmacies and 1,000 plus walk-in clinics. This shake-up could affect other companies. For example Amazon has been considering throwing their hat into the pharmaceutical business, while some speculate a CVS/Aetna deal, may pressure Walmart to acquire Humana which itself could be around a 50 billion dollar deal.
United Healthcare remains the country’s largest player in the health insurance arena. UHC owns over 400 surgery centers and urgent care clinics, and has had tremendous success with their PBM (Pharmacy Benefit Management) unit Optum. CVS has their own PBM as well which is known as Caremark.
Small local pharmacies would probably not benefit from a CVS Aetna Merger.
With CVS to Buy Aetna, How Will Consumers Be Impacted?
A deal with Aetna would mean the CVS Corporation would have an insurance company, a PBM, and over 10,000 pharmacies.
If the deal goes through, CVS would most likely be in a better position to negotiate on drug cost with pharmaceutical companies, which would be good for consumers, and CVS would probably offer deep discounts to Aetna members obtaining their medications from CVS.
As more information comes in, we will try to keep you posted.