What to know—and share—about the CVS/Aetna deal

The $69 billion marriage of the two mega-corporations would alter the U.S. health care landscape. Here are some key facts for communicators to clear up the confusion.

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Call it the clasp of the titans.

Pharmaceutical retail behemoth CVS Health has announced plans to buy insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion, a deal likely to reshape health care in the United States.

Communicators will be scrambling in the coming weeks to explain the effects of the proposed acquisition on consumers, health care employees and communities nationwide.

Here’s what to consider:

The immediate effect

According to The Washington Post:

CVS would provide a broad range of health services to Aetna’s 22 million medical members at its nationwide network of pharmacies and walk-in clinics, and further decrease the drugstore titan’s reliance on the retail sales that have faced increasing competition.

The Post notes that the deal could lower health care spending by encouraging CVS customers to use its walk-in clinics instead of visiting emergency rooms. On the other hand, consumer advocates fear the deal could limit choice by making it more difficult for new organizations to compete with bigger, more established insurers.

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