Cigna to Buy Express Scripts in $67 Billion Health Care Deal

Cigna to Buy Express Scripts in $67 Billion Health Care Deal

Nation’s Largest PBM is BCBS & GIC Vendor

March 9, 2018: This week Cigna, the Connecticut based health insurance company, announced it would purchase Express Scripts for a whopping $67 billion. While acquisitions and mergers in the health care market place are common, the purchase of Express Scripts immediately caught the attention of Mass Retirees officials.

In December, the state’s Group Insurance Commission announced the selection of Express Scripts as the GIC’s non-Medicare pharmacy benefits manager beginning July 1, 2018. Express Scripts is also the pharmacy vendor for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

The GIC has some 34,000 retirees who are ineligible for Medicare and enrolled in non-Medicare health plans. Come July 1, these plans will utilize Express Scripts as their pharmacy benefits manager (PBM). Further, tens of thousands municipal retirees are insured through BCBS and utilize Express Scripts for pharmacy services.

“In all likelihood, the merger will have no direct impact on the GIC or our retirees, but we need to be certain,” said Association President Frank Valeri. “This morning we immediately contacted both the GIC and Blue Cross to make sure this purchase by Cigna does not disrupt service or otherwise negatively impact our members. We know that both the Blues and GIC are as concerned as we are and are communicating directly with officials from Express Scripts. At this time, it appears that enrollees will see no impact or difference in service.”

It should also be pointed out that acquisitions of this type, which have the potential of market disruption, must be approved by federal regulators. The approval process can take months, if not years to navigate through.

Mass Retirees officials continue to monitor developments, as well as work with the GIC and Blue Cross, to ensure our members face no impact. Further information will be shared as it becomes available. 

Meanwhile, members interested in learning more about Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts can click here.