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Insurer Consolidation

  • Cigna Agrees to Buy Express Scripts In Major Health Care Deal  New York Times by Chad Bray & Katie Thomas — The health insurance giant Cigna said on Thursday that it had agreed to buy Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, in a $52 billion deal that would further reshape the health care industry. The deal is the latest in a recent wave of consolidation across the health care sector, which has been marked by spiraling costs and roiled by Amazon's announcement in January that it was teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to try to simplify coverage, a move that unsettled established industry players. The changes across the health care landscape come amid widespread frustration among American businesses and individuals over the complexity of a system in which doctors, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies have different, often competing, interests. Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States, responsible for the drug plans of more than 80 million Americans, including on behalf of large employers like the Department of Defense.

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