The $69 billion merger between pharmacy giant CVS Health and national health insurer Aetna has nabbed all required state approvals and is projected to close on or around Wednesday.
The companies received the final regulatory approval required to merge on Monday morning, nearly a year after they first agreed to combine in a deal that would transform the healthcare industry. The deal was cleared by the U.S. Justice Department in October with the condition that Aetna divest its Medicare prescription drug business.
On Monday, New York—one of the remaining regulatory holdouts—approved the combination with several conditions, including limits on raising health insurance premiums and a promise to invest in insurance education and enrollment activities.
The New York state Department of Financial Services "listened to the concerns of the public and has obtained significant commitments from CVS and Aetna to address those concerns, ensuring that the companies hold to their promises of reduced costs and improved healthcare for New Yorkers, not pass on the costs of this acquisition to New Yorkers, enhance data privacy, and not act in an anti-competitive manner going forward," Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement.
In October, Vullo reportedly considered blocking parts of the deal, calling the Justice Department's approval of the merger "myopic."
CVS and Aetna have promised that their merger will transform the patient healthcare experience and deliver better care and coordination while saving costs for consumers. But antitrust experts and health economists remain skeptical of the benefits of the merger.