NEW YORK (AP) — Anthem is buying rival Cigna in a deal valued at $54.2 billion that will create the nation’s largest health insurer by enrollment, covering about 53 million patients in the U.S.
Anthem officials said the deal will help build their company’s Medicare Advantage enrollment in states like Texas and Florida.
Anthem, based in Indianapolis, is currently the nation’s second-largest health insurer, while Cigna ranks fourth in terms of enrollment.
The deal comes just three weeks after the insurer Aetna bid $35 billion for Humana in a buyout frenzy that will transform five massive U.S. health companies into three even larger ones.
The deal is targeted to close in the second half of 2016.