Comments from Anthem CFO Wayne DeVeydt at the UBS Global Healthcare Conference Tuesday fueled discussion that the Big Five insurance companies could soon be the Big Four, according to Reuters.
"I like the pricing environment a lot and we have a lot of capacity to work with to do a cash transaction of meaningful size — and it would be transformative," Mr. DeVeydt said, according to the report.
Mr. DeVeydt's comments follow last week's analyst speculation that Aetna could acquire Cigna or Humana, which reignited past talks of an acquisition among the Big Five.
Low interest rates are creating good conditions for an acquisition, Mr. DeVeydt said, and the company is considering expanding business in Florida, Texas and California. Anthem's first focus will be targeting those markets, he said, and then it will work on growing Medicare. He also told investors acquisitions are not necessary for Anthem to grow business in New York, Ohio and California, according to the report.