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What’s Driving Health Insurers’ Merger Mania?

As the nation’s top five health insurance companies jockey through merger proposals that could leave just three large companies at the top, a big question is, what does it mean for consumers – and the rest of the industry? Those insured by large organizations with strong negotiating power can expect little if any change in premiums, says Mark Pauly, a Wharton professor of health care management. But individuals and small businesses would likely see health insurance premiums tick up. And while would-be merger partners often project greater efficiency and lower costs as a goal, it rarely turns out that way, Pauly adds. He offers additional views on the effects of the proposed mergers in this Knowledge@Wharton interview. More: