On the first of three days of public hearings in Nevada over the $2.6 billion sale of Las Vegas-based insurer Sierra Health Services to UnitedHealth Group, the state attorney general expressed concerns over the deal.
In comments filed with the Nevada Division of Insurance, officials from the attorney generals Bureau of Consumer Protection asked that the insurance commissioner consider structural remedies to ensure a competitive market and review the effects of the merger on the Nevada Medicaid contract.
The three hearings, being held in Elko, Las Vegas and Reno this week, were requested by Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons to allow further public comment on the matter beyond a public hearing held in June.
Nevada Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley told the Associated Press that she would ask how the merger would affect the cost of health insurance, hospital contracts, physician reimbursements and quality of care. The buyout must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department, as well as California, Nevada and Texas. -- by Rebecca Vesely