Could a CVS-Aetna Deal Actually Benefit Consumers?

Navigant national advisor Jeff Goldsmith via MarketWatch

The rumored merger between CVS Health Corp. and Aetna, Inc. may not be a perfect deal, but experts say it shouldn't cause consumers to have a heart attack.

For consumers, the merger could bring a host of benefits, according to most experts. But others say it might not be the panacea for the soaring healthcare costs plaguing patients. Navigant's Jeff Goldsmith stated via MarketWatch, "I don't see negative repercussions for consumers, I just don't see a lot of positive repercussions for them either. I'm just baffled by the deal." 

For starters, Goldsmith is skeptical that the combined company would have all that much leverage to lower drug costs. And the merger could also prompt employers and smaller insurance companies who currently use Caremark as the pharmacy-benefits manager to turn elsewhere, further reducing any power a merged CVS-Aetna would have. He states, "I'm not seeing how it's going to make it more attractive for me to be an Aetna customer than a Cigna customer."

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