Hearing On HealthNet-Centene Merger Triggers Tough Questions
"I have a question of the witnesses," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones at the hearing to examine the insurers' $6.8 billion merger. "I'm wondering if there are any recent peer-reviewed studies which demonstrate that consumer prices for health insurance or managed care went down after a health insurance or managed care merger."
Health Insurers Grilled Over Merger
The wary and aggressive tenor of questions at a state hearing set a high bar for approval of the proposed $6.8 billion purchase of health insurance company HealthNet by Centene. The hearing Friday in the Capitol Building convened by the California Department of Insurance lasted six hours. It delved into the esoteric details of the large financial transaction and it also hit on some of the broader questions about what might happen to market competition and premium costs when health insurance companies consolidate. (Gorn, 1/25)