Research Brief | No. 12 | June 2016

Advocates' Guide to Health Insurance Merger Remedies

This paper examines regulators’ efforts to mitigate possible consumer harms from insurance company mergers—such as higher premiums and cost-sharing and reduced access and choice of health care professionals. Specifically, this brief uses case studies and expert interviews to examine the role of remedies in health insurance merger approvals. Remedies cannot substitute for market competition nor are they likely to fully ameliorate the consumer harms that characterize a less competitive marketplace, but advocates can use remedies to ensure that consumers derive some benefit from the merger negotiation process and to advance improvements in their state’s health care system. Consumer advocates and others will find actionable information on these strategies to better protect consumers faced with health plan mergers in their market.

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