What We're Reading: Illinois Approves Aetna-Humana Merger

What we're reading, June 28, 2016: Illinois approves Aetna-Humana merger; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care reaches value-based payment agreements with Novartis and Eli Lilly; and the Supreme Court struck down key aspects of the Texas abortion law.

The insurance mega-mergers are facing increasing opposition, but not in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Insurance has approved Aetna’s purchase of Humana, conditional on the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s approval, reported The New York Times. The deal is still under review by the DOJ, which is reviewing competition concerns regarding Medicare Advantage. In Illinois, Medicare Advantage plans have enough competition.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has reached value-based payment agreements with Novartis and Eli Lilly. According to STAT, the insurer—the second largest in New England—will receive a discount from Novartis if Entresto does not yield a specified drop in hospitalizations and will accept a lower rebate from Eli Lilly if Trulicity outperforms rival medicines in lowering hemoglobin levels. Harvard Pilgrim already has a value-based deal with Amgen for Repatha, the PCSK9 inhibitor for lowering cholesterol.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a Texas abortion law placed an undue burden on women. The Court struck down key aspects of the abortion law, which has cast doubt on similar laws in nearly 2 dozen states, according to Kaiser Health News. The Texas law, if enforced, would mean only 10 clinics would be able to perform abortions, compared with more than 40 prior to the law. The Court ruled 5-3 that the law’s requirements “place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a peviability abortion.” Such an undue burden violates the Constitution.