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New York poses potential hurdle for CVS Health-Aetna merger

New York regulators on Thursday threatened to block CVS Health’s $69 billion merger with health insurer Aetna, demanding that the companies not raise insurance premiums in New York and that its pharmacy-benefits manager, or PBM, submit to state regulation, according to a New York Post report.

With federal regulators conditionally approving the merger, and Connecticut giving thumbs up this week, New York is one of the last hurdles that CVS Health is facing in getting the go-ahead to buy the nation’s third-largest insurer.

“I can stop the deal if it is reasonably necessary to protect New Yorkers,” said Department of Financial Services superintendent Maria Vullo at a public hearing, according to the report.

Vullo’s concerns are largely focused on ensuring that insurance premiums don't increase in the aftermath of the merger, as well as with getting CVS Health to support a proposed state law that would require PBMS to register with New York's finance department. Proponents of the bill said that it would give DFS the power to reduce drug prices and limit abusive practices.

The report noted that CVS Health lawyer Elizabeth Ferguson said, “We would not oppose it," when asked if the company would support the bill.

To read the full report, click here.
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