Hixme Think

CVS-Aetna Deal: not as big of an affect on health insurance market as ACO partnerships

Denny WeinbergDenny Weinberg
Logos of CVS & Aetna are displayed on a monitor above the floor of the NY Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, Dec. 5, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

I read with a chuckle the press about this survey, just released by AON regarding the proposed CVS/Aetna deal.

U.S. employers say CVS-Aetna deal would affect health-benefits decisions: survey

Large employers had little negative reaction to Aetna’s dramatic Accountable Care Organization (ACO) partnerships with nearly a thousand hospitals and health systems over the last 3 years, initiated after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed. In some ways the ACO partnerships create a forum for far greater interaction between insurers and health system providers than an Aetna/CVS partnership. The difference? One was subtle and implemented little by little, where the CVS deal is big and press worthy.

I suspect some new and interesting partnerships for health plans (that have always struggled to gain consumer trust) might actually get a boost when affiliated with more trusted retail companies such as CVS.
The reality is that large employers are desperate for normalization of the out-of-control costs of the U.S. health system, which have caused “Health Benefit Costs” for larger employers to increase by 225% since 1999. With the values of managed care having been absorbed into the system years ago, very little seems to work to bend that cost curve. I suspect some new and interesting partnerships for health plans (that have always struggled to gain consumer trust) might actually get a boost when affiliated with more trusted retail companies such as CVS.

So I am once again the contrarian.

ABOUT THE HIXME THINK BLOG: Authored by one of the gurus of health insurance, Denny Weinberg, postings reflect market trends and the powerful emerging movements toward true portability and personal ownership by workers and their families. Postings follow these emerging trends, driven by consumer ownership of retirement benefits, consolidations by health care institutions, and the stated pro-consumerism goals and actions of the administration, federal agencies and Congress.

Hixme CEO Denny Weinberg is a 25 year veteran executive in healthcare financing and operations. His broad background includes a 20 year tenure as Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of WellPoint and CEO of a number of WellPoint’s largest and more unique operating companies. Denny also manages a portfolio of early stage companies in the Health/Medical arena as well as other industries. He has also served as board member, advisor and consultant to both private equity-backed, and publicly traded Blue Chip companies.

Comments 0
There are currently no comments.