Cigna shareholders approve Anthem merger deal

Cigna Corporation's shareholders approved its proposed merger with Anthem Thursday.

Cigna, based in Connecticut, said 99 percent of the votes were in favor of the deal that would combine the two health insurers. The $54 billion merger announced in July would bring together Anthem and Cigna, the second and fifth largest health insurers by revenue, respectively, creating the nation's premier health services company. The transaction is expected to provide more than 50 million members with access to high-quality and affordable health care coverage.

"The complementary nature of our businesses will allow us to leverage the deep global health care knowledge, local market talent and expertise of both organizations to ensure that consumers have access to affordable and personalized solutions across diverse life and health stages and position us for sustained success,” Cigna President and CEO David Cordani said at the time the Anthem-Cigna merger was first announced.

The combined company should be capable of dealing with challenges facing the country's health system, including increasingly diverse markets. Not only will health services and offerings be enhanced and expanded for individuals and employers around the world as a result of the transaction, but it will also be beneficial for those on plans, such as Medicare Advantage and Medicaid.

While the deal still has to meet customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the merger is set to be complete by mid next year.
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