American Psychiatric Association raises concerns about Anthem deal
The American Psychiatric Association has warned government regulators that proposed health insurance mergers could have a major, negative impact on the availability of mental health care services. Anthem Inc. is looking to acquire Cigna Corp. through a $47 billion deal. The deal would make Anthem the largest health insurance provider in the United States, but the company also has plans to acquire Humana Inc., which would also make it the largest provider of Medicare plans in the country.
Organizations warn regulators of the potential impact that acquisition may have on mental care
Several organizations have opposed the acquisitions, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. These organizations are urging regulators to consider the possible impact that the acquisitions may have on the overall health care system. Antitrust regulators have concerns have raised red flags among investors and health care experts as the Department of Justice reviews the deal proposed by Anthem.
Insurance industry has a history of denying benefits for those that need mental health care
According to the American Psychiatric Association, the insurance industry has a history of denying mental health benefits to those that need it. For insurers, this is often an issue concerning out of network mental health care providers. The organization is concerned that if the deal is approved, this issue will become worse, leading to fewer people having access to the mental health care that they need. The organization has also sent its concerns to state insurance commissioners and Attorneys General and is confident that officials will see these concerns as valid.
Federal lawmakers question insurers concerning the potential deal
Mental health is often stigmatized in the United States and insurers have had a precarious history with covering mental health care benefits. Federal lawmakers have taken note of the concerns raised by various organizations regarding this matter and, earlier this week, questioned both Anthem and Aetna about the impacts that the insurer consolidation will have on the health care sector as a whole.