SACRAMENTO — A settlement reached between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a multi-state coalition and Aetna regarding the company's merger with CVS Health (CVS) will require the sale of 1.5 million Medicare Part D plans to WellCare Health plans.
According to the California Attorney General's Office, the settlement will require Aetna to sell the plans to ensure competition on the prescription drug market for Medicare beneficiaries. The settlement also prohibits Aetna from selling any new Medicare Part D plans in 2020, the Attorney General's Office said.
The state of California launched a yearlong investigation into the $69 billion merger between Aetna and CVS, which raised concerns about the impact on prescription drug prices for Medicare Part D participants and those enrolled in both Medicare and the state's Medi-Cal.
“We can’t stand idly by and watch a merger go through that could lead to higher prescription drug prices and fewer choices for our seniors,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Market consolidation benefits big business’ bottom line at the expense of seniors’ pocketbooks.
"We know that over-consolidation is bad for healthcare and leaves millions of Californians with fewer options. We will keep close watch to ensure that the terms of this settlement are met."