Report: Walmart May Buy Humana

Walmart-Humana
AP

Walmart reportedly may purchase health insurance giant Humana, a move that could transform the healthcare industry.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the two companies are in the early stages of a deal for Walmart to purchase Humana. The health insurance company is valued at $37 billion.

The report spiked Humana’s stock by roughly 12 percentage points on Thursday, according to a CNBC article.

The Walmart report arrives just as CVS shareholders are poised to buy Aetna, another major health insurer.

CVS President Larry Merlo said that the acquisition of Aetna will “reshape” the healthcare industry.

Merlo argued:

When this merger is complete, the combined company will be well-positioned to reshape the consumer health care experience, putting people at the center of health care delivery to ensure they have access to high-quality, more affordable care where they are, when they need it.

Other companies have looked for ways to enter the healthcare industry. Amazon recently announced it will partner with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase on a joint venture that would reduce costs for consumers.

Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini announced this week that the savings created by the deal between his insurance company and Walmart would be passed on to health care consumers.

We have always believed that consumers should benefit from discounts and rebates that we negotiate with drug manufacturers,” Bertolini said in a statement. “Going forward, we hope this additional transparency will encourage these companies to rationalize their pricing and end the practice of annual double-digit price increases.”

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