Aetna to sell Medicare Part D business to WellCare: 6 notes

Aetna inked an agreement to sell its Medicare Part D drug business to WellCare Health Plans for an undisclosed sum, according to CNBC.

Here are six things to know:

1. Under the proposed agreement, WellCare would assume control of Aetna's business Dec. 31, provided the insurer's $69 billion sale to CVS Health gains federal regulatory approval. Aetna would continue to provide administrative services on the contract through 2019, CNBC reports.

2. Aetna's Medicare Part D business had roughly 2.2 million members as of June 30, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the insurer cited by CNBC. The sale will not affect Aetna's other products or plans.

3. Experts suggest the divestiture may incline the U.S. Department of Justice to approve CVS' proposed acquisition of Aetna. However, the move is no guarantee, the report states. The Justice Department ultimately blocked Aetna's proposed $37 billion acquisition of Humana in 2016, despite an offer from the firms to divest their overlapping Medicare Advantage businesses to Molina Healthcare.

4. CVS officials said the companies are continuing "productive" talks with the Justice Department and that they expect to close the deal early in the fourth quarter of 2018.

5. If Aetna and WellCare's deal is successful, the transaction would mark WellCare's third deal in over two years and would triple WellCare's Medicare Drug Plans membership from 1.1 million to 3.3 million, CNBC reports

6. A CVS spokesperson told CNBC earlier this week they fully support the Aetna acquisition.

"We believe that competition within each of the business segments in which we operate — pharmacy benefit management, pharmacies and insurers — is fierce and will remain so. We look forward to further discussions with DFS to demonstrate how the combination of our two companies will benefit consumers," the spokesperson said.

To access the full report, click here.

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