American Medical Association says Humana takeover by Aetna would reduce health-insurance competition in Kentucky

Humana Inc.‘s proposed takeover by Aetna Inc. would hurt health-insurance competition in 57 metropolitan areas in 15 states, especially Kentucky and Georgia, says an analysis by the American Medical Association. It cites Louisville-based Humana’s large share of the Kentucky market and said the threat is mainly to policyholders in preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

“The AMA, no friend of the insurance industry to begin with, is stepping up the already mounting pressure on Aetna as it attempts to buy Humana, and [on] Anthem, which is trying to take over Cigna,” Bruce Japsen reports for Forbes magazine. “The U.S. Justice Department in July sued to block both deals, saying they would hurt competition and raise prices for consumers. . . . The insurers deny the AMA’s contention and are challenging the government’s lawsuits.”

Across the various forms of insurance, the AMA analysis saw a threat to overall competition in the Louisville, Lexington and Elizabethtown markets. It saw a threat to the HMO market in the Clarksville, Tenn., market, which includes the Hopkinsville area. It saw lesser threats in the Evansville, Ind., and Huntington, W.Va., markets, which include parts of Kentucky.

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