WOONSOCKET, R.I. — According to published reports in Crain’s New York Business, the state Department of Financial Services has approved CVS Health’s $69 billion acquisition of insurer Aetna on Monday morning, lifting the final hurdle to the deal’s closure.
Aetna said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the companies expect the deal to close on Wednesday.
The U.S. Department of Justice had approved the purchase in October and the companies have already received all other necessary approvals from other states. Bloomberg News reported that 28 states, including New York, weighed in on the combination of the nation’s largest drugstore chain and one of the nation’s largest health insurers.
“DFS listened to the concerns of the public and has obtained significant commitments from CVS and Aetna to address those concerns, ensuring that the companies hold to their promises of reduced costs and improved health care for New Yorkers,” DFS Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement.
CVS and Aetna have said their combination will lead to lower costs for consumers and greater access to care through a network of health clinics at CVS stores. The chain and its subsidiaries own 573 pharmacies in the state. Aetna received about $3.5 billion in premiums from New York customers last year, according to DFS.
To win approval from New York, CVS also agreed not to offer any preferential pricing to Aetna-affiliated insurers in the state and to continue to include non-chain pharmacies in its local networks for at least three years.
The health plan will maintain its current set of insurance products for three years, add an additional product in the small- or large-group market and document the “synergies” it said it would create by combining with CVS.
The Cuomo administration has previously supported legislation that would require that pharmacy benefit managers, including CVS Caremark, are licensed and regulated by the Department of Financial Services. A previous bill was not ultimately approved by the state Legislature but DFS said Monday that CVS Health has agreed to “take no action to oppose such future legislation.”