09.09.2008 Pennsylvania Health Insurance Merger Faces Further Scrutiny
On July 31, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights held a hearing to consider the proposed merger of Independence Blue Cross and Highmark Blue Shield, Pennsylvania’s two largest health insurers. The transaction was announced over a year ago, but has been mired in regulatory review since that time while the Pennsylvania Insurance Department determines whether to approve the deal. The transaction would create one of the largest health insurers in the country (based on total premiums), but has already been approved by the DOJ Antitrust Division, principally because the insurers are not viewed as direct competitors (Independence operates predominantly in the Philadelphia area while Highmark is based in Pittsburgh). Now, with the parties still awaiting approval from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, additional questions about the deal are being raised by, among others, Pennsylvania Senator and Senate Judiciary Committee member Arlen Spector. ... Click on the file below to continue reading ...

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