Health insurance giant Aetna Inc. has announced plans to purchase Payflex Holdings Inc., an administrator of health savings and flexible spending accounts in the health care industry. The purchase will set Aetna back by $202 million, but shows that the company has plans to expand their operations despite the changes coming to the industry. The deal may have deeper meaning as well, which may have roots in the state of the economy.
Brian Gilbreath, president of the Nebraskan Association for Corporate Growth, says that there is growing confidence in the economy from buyers. This notion runs contrary to popular opinion that the economy is no better now than it had been at the height of the recession in 2008. Despite the prevailing opinions, however, Gilbreath notes the increasing number of insurance companies making moves of acquisition in the market. Insurance companies are well known for not taking unnecessary risks.
Payflex is based in Omaha, Nebraska, which will continue to serve as home for the company after the deal is finalized. The company currently employs more than 400 people in various branches throughout the U.S., most of whom will keep their jobs under Aetna. Payflex chairman and co-founder Mark Huber says that Aetna is letting the company operate “pretty independently.”
This is Aetna’s fourth acquisition this year, lending credence to Gilbreath’s theory that the economy may be much healthier than most people think.