CVS moves deeper into customer care with Aetna deal - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CVS moves deeper into customer care with Aetna deal

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

CVS and Aetna announced their $69 billion deal on Sunday are expected to move the agreement forward.

The Department of Justice still has to sign off on the merger between the pharmacy chain and the Hartford-based insurer but experts expect that to happen.

For many people, CVS is a one-stop shop for prescriptions, flu shots and even groceries.

The new deal will push the chain even deeper into healthcare by expanding its medical services. It's a direction it said it wanted to go in for years.

CVS is currently running a network of nearly 10,000 drugstores and 1,100 walk-in clinics.

Experts said the move will reshape the healthcare industry and that CVS will have an even more powerful standing to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which could lead to bigger savings for customers.

Analysts also believe other top health insurers will take note of the merger.

“I think you’re going to see the other three major healthcare institutions to be taking a look at linkages with other ones," said David Cadden, Department of Entrepreneurship, Quinnipiac University. "I wouldn’t be surprised if Anthem looked at Walgreens and tried to develop a comparable merger there.”

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement about the agreement.

"I think the deal could present an important opportunity for Hartford and Connecticut to build a partnership with what would be the nation's leading healthcare company, rooted right here in New England," Bronin said.

Both companies are saying this deal will make health care easier to use and more affordable, but anytime two companies merge, there are concerns on jobs losses.

"I want to make sure the numbers of jobs here is sustained --that this merger is not an excuse to move jobs in massive numbers out of the state of Connecticut,” said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Another big change, if this move goes is approved, CEO Mark Bertolini plans to step down, telling CNBC he will not be part of day to day operations but instead will be on the board of directors at CVS.

Aetna has been in the news a lot. This fall they sold off their life insurance division to "The Hartford” and those employees, about 300, are safe for now but are waiting to see what happens in a year.  

Before that, Aetna tried merging with Humana, but a federal court ruling blocked the deal.

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