WASHINGTON — Doctors and hospitals are stepping up their criticism of proposed health insurance company mergers.
In a new study to be released on Tuesday, theAmerican Medical Association says that most insurance markets in the United States are dominated by a few companies and would become even more concentrated with a plan by Anthem to acquire Cigna and a proposal byAetna to buy Humana.
The American Hospital Association raised similar concerns last week in a letter to the Justice Department that said the proposed Aetna-Humana deal “threatens serious and widespread competitive harm” to Medicarebeneficiaries because it would reduce options in the market for private Medicare Advantage plans. More than 30 percent of the 55 million Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled in such private plans, which provide an alternative to traditional Medicare.
The doctors’ group said the proposed mergers could reduce competition in up to 154 metropolitan areas in 23 states.