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Insurance giants Cigna, Humana, explore merger, source says


Medicare Advantage could be a key part of potential transaction.

cigna office: © jetcityimage -

© jetcityimage -

Cigna and Humana are negotiations about a deal that would combine two of the largest private U.S. health insurers, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

“The companies are discussing at stock-and-cash deal that could be finalized by the end of the year,” the newspaper reported in an article posted at 12:05 p.m. Nov. 29. News agency Reuters also reported the potential merger talks, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Several media outlets have reported that Cigna has been looking to sell its Medicare Advantage (MA) business, a move that might help fend off antitrust roadblocks to the combination.

According to KFF (formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation), Cigna has a relatively small slice of the growing MA market with 600,000 MA enrollees that account for 2% of the Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans. Humana, with 5.5 million MA enrollees has 18% of the market and is the second largest MA insurer after UnitedHealthcare.

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