Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger today approved the sale of Coventry Health Care of Kansas to health insurance giant Aetna.
Praeger had signaled that she would likely approve the $7.3 billion acquisition following a sparsely-attended public hearing earlier this month.
Aetna is the nation’s fourth largest health insurer. It covers more than 18 million Americans and generates annual revenues of more than $33 billion. In its third quarter earnings report, Aetna said the acquisition of Coventry, the nation’s seventh largest health insurer, would increase its number of insured by 4 million and boost its Medicare prescription drug plan members by 1.5 million.
In 2011, Aetna collected just under $58 million in Kansas premiums while Coventry took in $187 million.
Coventry’s strong presence in Kansas is largely the result of its 2010 acquisition of Wichita-based Preferred Health Systems.
Kansas is among more than 20 states where Aetna needs approval of regulators to make the acquisition.
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