What Continued Industry Consolidation Means for Agents

  • Originally published April 2, 2018, last updated April 4, 2018
  • MA-PD, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement

Consolidation has been a major trend in the health care industry this year. Fresh off the news that Cigna intends to buy Express Scripts, Walmart is now in acquisition talks with Humana. While the exact details of Walmart’s plans are unknown, their relationship with Humana is likely to expand. CVS is also in the process of buying Aetna. The health insurance and pharmaceutical industries are drawing closer to each other.

What does this mean for Medicare agents? First, wait for the regulatory approval before reacting too much. If these deals are approved, it may lead to increased efficiency and cost saving for consumers.

Express Scripts is the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) behind a number of Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, including Anthem, which attempted to acquire Cigna in 2017 but was blocked by the Department of Justice.  Will this integration gain regulatory approval?  The Department of Justice will perform its due diligence. The ruling for the CVS-Aetna merger later this year may foreshadow any regulatory concerns.

There are a wide range of possibilities for what Walmart and Humana will do. There are reports that this is a plan for Walmart to acquire Humana outright. But, it may also just be a closer partnership between the two companies. This can ultimately mean some simplification for customers when it comes to their health plans and medications. All of the consolidations may have an impact on the competitive marketplace, and affect prices for consumers.

Change is constant in a growing and competitive market. It helps to have solid relationships with strong partners. Senior Market Sales has strong connections with the industry’s top carriers, and is positioned to help you adjust through changes and find the right opportunities created by a changing landscape.

Call a professional marketing consultant and ask how you can work with the right mix of carriers offering the best solutions for your clients —1-877-888-9996.