CVS Health to acquire Aetna in a $69 billion bid

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The retail pharmacy and health care company could create a significant shift in the insurance industry.

CVS Health has made a serious bid to buy insurance giant Aetna for a price tag of about $69 billion. Should this acquisition close, it could push the retail chain further into the health care industry while offering a key client significant protection.

The announcement of the health insurance company’s acquisition was made at the start of this week.

This acquisition will have CVS Health Corp. paying approximately $207 in cash and stock for every Aetna Inc. share. That is the equivalent to paying a 29 percent premium on the October 25 price of Aetna shares. That date represents the day immediately before the first report of a potential bid was published in The Wall Street Journal.

Should this deal close, it will bring together CVS’s drugstore chain, in which there are over 9,700 stores across the country in addition to the approximately 1,100 walk-in clinics it operates, with a health insurance company that currently covers approximately 22 million Americans.

This new combination with CVS Health and Aetna could represent quite the insurance shake up.

CVS health insuranceCVS Health is already among the leading pharmacy benefit managers in the United States. At the moment, it processes over one billion prescriptions every year for various health insurance companies including – but not limited to – Aetna.

It isn’t yet known whether or not this acquisition will affect drug prices and, if so, what that impact will be. It is also unclear whether or not Aetna customers will begin seeing some changes in the management of their health plans.

In years to come, the strengthened version of CVS may take hold of new and significant pricing leverage, but it is not yet known in what way that would benefit consumers. That said, this new acquisition may also produce a new customer draw to CVS stores as many of those shops also provide a growing list of medical service offerings beyond the typical prescription and over the counter medications.

As a result CVS Health may gradually evolve into a more complete health care experience. In theory, it could be a location in which patients could have blood taken for testing, consult with a nurse practitioner, and purchase their prescription medications; all in one trip.

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