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Payer Roundup—Anthem, Cigna head to court to settle failed merger fallout

February 26, 2019 / Paige Minemyer

Anthem and Cigna’s planned merger—which would have created the largest payer in the country by membership—was spiked due to antitrust concerns, and now a Delaware judge will be tasked with wading through what remains of the dispute. Anthem argues that Cigna owes it $20 billion, as it slowed the merger process with the goal of sabotaging the deal. Cigna, meanwhile, counters that Anthem owes it $15 billion because the deal failed. Ana Gupte, an analyst at Leerink, said a settlement is more likely to end with Anthem paying Cigna less than the fee to end the merger, which was about $1.8 billion. Even that is useful from Cigna’s perspective, she said, as it needs to pay down debt it incurred in purchasing Express Scripts. The trial is set to last 10 days and executives at both insurers are likely to testify.