Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons said he will hold UnitedHealth Group to the highest compliance standards after it completes its acquisition of the states largest health insurer, Las Vegas-based Sierra Health Services.
The $2.6 billion merger has been approved by the Justice Department on the condition that UnitedHealth divest most of its Medicare Advantage business in the Las Vegas area. Humana agreed to buy UnitedHealth's SecureHorizons Medicare Advantage HMO business, with 25,000 members in the region, for $185 million cash.
The deal as originally proposed would have created a combined controlling interest of 94% of the Medicare Advantage market in the Las Vegas area and resulted in higher prices, fewer choices and a reduction in the quality of plans in the area, the Justice Department said in a written statement approving the merger.
In a written statement, Gibbons called the divestiture an important first step towards protecting Nevadans. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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