Health insurers Centene Corp. and WellCare Health Plans disclosed Thursday that federal antitrust regulators have asked for more information on their plans to merge.
The companies said they each received requests for "additional information and documentary material" on May 22, but didn't go into more detail about what the Justice Department is seeking. Centene and WellCare still expect to close the merger in the first half of 2020, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week.
Requests for more information are common. Merger partners CVS and Aetna as well as Cigna and Express Scripts received such requests while their deals were being reviewed by the Justice Department. Both those mergers closed late last year.
Centene in March announced plans to buy WellCare for $17.3 billion. Combined, the insurers would cover nearly 22 million people in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and health insurance exchange plans. Shareholders from the companies are slated to vote on the merger on June 24.
The American Hospital Association earlier this month urged the Trump administration to halt the merger, claiming it would reduce competition in the Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed-care markets, particularly in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. Centene CEO Michael Neidorff has previously acknowledged that the companies may have to divest certain parts of the business to gain regulatory approval.