Sarah Lueck Hopes the Government Is Looking Closely at Proposed Mergers

In addition to the federal government, state regulators and state insurance commissioners should play a role when considering regulation of recently proposed health insurance mergers, said Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In addition to the federal government, state regulators and state insurance commissioners should play a role when considering regulation of recently proposed health insurance mergers, said Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Transcript (slightly modified)

With some very big healthcare mergers announced in 2015, do you think the government may try to regulate this space a little more?

I can't really say what the federal government will do, obviously it's under review and everything that's going is so private, so it's hard to know what the back and forth might be, what kinds of questions they're asking, what kind of information insurers are providing. It's all difficult to kind of see that process.

But I do hope that the federal government is taking a close look at this issue and, obviously, state regulators have a role as well. State attorneys general are looking at the competition issue, and state insurance commissioners in some cases are raising questions about a specific market. And that's really important because health insurance markets are so local, are so specific that it's really helpful to have a regulator that's in that place, looking closely at what's happening in that market to decide not only about the competitive issues taht might arise, but other issues that might arise that could impact consumers, like premium prices or network changes, or other things, and to also make sure, potentially, that if mergers go forward, that any issues that arise regulatorily could maybe be dealt with. They could maybe do somethings that if there's an issue where they haven't been doing a good job that they can make sure they do going forward. Or that there are transitions from one insurer to another and consumers are well taken care of.