CVS Health has announced it’s plan to purchase Aetna, the third largest insurer in the United States for $69 Billion.
This unique combination of retail pharmacy and insurance company creates a deal that many feel would leave the insured with too few choices in health care. With Aetna being owned by CVS it’s natural to assume CVS would force Aetna customers to use CVS for their prescription drug or healthcare needs, as they are now offering more of a healthcare clinic.
The two companies are confident however, this is a good thing and will enhance the customer’s experience. “This is a natural evolution for both companies as they seek to put the consumer at the center of health care delivery,” the companies said in a news release.
Critics are also concerned with the idea of having a retail store in charge of a healthcare. Simply put, would you prefer a retail chain or a licensed doctor to be in charge of your health care needs?
The timing of this massive acquisition comes right when rumors began spreading, that Amazon will soon be entering into pharmacy business. If Amazon does enter the prescription drug market, it may be a very slippery slope for current big box retailers.
Amazon is notorious for stepping into new businesses and crushing the competition in no time, with lower prices, fast delivery, and its already massive network of loyal shoppers. Combining CVS with Aetna is their way of strengthening themselves to be better prepared to take on such rivaled competition.