Cigna CEO defends Anthem deal

Cigna CEO David Cordani said Anthem's planned takeover of Cigna will not harm customers but will increase choice and affordability, according to Reuters.

"It's going to increase choice, not decrease choice. It's going to increase affordability, not decrease affordability," Mr. Cordani said in an interview with Reuters.

Mr. Cordani claimed the largest overlap in the companies is their large employer-based divisions and asset sales may be required to win regulatory approval on a limited basis. "Divestitures through the [Department of Justice] process should be modest and manageable. And we've leaned on the conservative side of the business case that supports this," he said.

Cigna expects the DOJ review to take 12 to 18 months. Mr. Cordani believes the review will show few competitive issues. He added that Cigna and Anthem will not see outsized benefits from cutting costs through their combinations because consumers usually demand spending savings be passed onto them.

Mr. Cordani added that employers have been optimistic that the combination will allow them to utilize both Cigna's results-oriented care management and Anthem's Blue Cross Blue Shield networks. "Within that, there may be deemed by the DOJ some overlap that is not acceptable and we'll deal with that," Mr. Cordani said.

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