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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2018
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Is bigger better?

Two major deals in the health care and insurance industry were announced in December 2017. CVS Health is buying Aetna, a $63 billion insurance company for $69 billion, and Wisconsin’s largest hospital system, Aurora Health Care, is merging with the largest system in Illinois, Advocate Health Care, to form the 10th largest hospital system in the United States. 

The CVS Health Aetna deal will take months to be approved and finalized, but it represents a major shift away from the hospital-doctor-centered delivery system like Aurora and Advocate to a more consumer-centered approach. 

CVS pharmacies will be expanded to include doctor, wellness and insurance services. CVS Health also owns the CVS/Caremark PBM and Silver Script Medicare Part D drug plans.

We will have to wait and see how these mega mergers affect future health care and insurance costs. Amazon, Apple and Google are also working on new technologies and services to address health and cost. 

Ultimately, employer group plans and individual consumers will drive innovation given better opportunities to improve health and lower cost. 

In the meantime, it is important for us to take charge of our health.

Many of the health care professionals in this magazine offer you great health care value as we learn to shop for health care. We encourage you to ask how they can help you in your path to healthy living. And as always, use a licensed health insurance advisor when selecting your health plan. 

John Ulness

John Ulness is co-owner of Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness in Appleton. He helps people in Wisconsin understand their health insurance options to control costs and enroll. He can be reached at 1-800-386-0876 or [email protected]

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