The Justice Department has approved UnitedHealth Groups $2.6 billion acquisition of Sierra Health Services, on condition that the health insurer divest most of its Medicare Advantage business in the Las Vegas area.
The deal as originally proposed would create a combined controlling interest of 94% of the Medicare Advantage market in the Las Vegas area and result in higher prices, fewer choices and a reduction in the quality of plans in the area, the Justice Department said in a written statement.
Humana was named as the tentative buyer of UnitedHealths Medicare Advantage business in the Las Vegas area, according to the Justice Department. About 82,000 seniors in the area are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, an $840 million annual business.
The American Medical Association and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons have expressed concerns about the merger, saying it would result in fewer consumer choices. Nevadas insurance commissioner approved the deal last year. Las Vegas-based Sierra Health is Nevadas largest insurer. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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