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Government & Politics

Ohio Democrats Push for More Oversight on Insurance Mergers

photo of Jenna McGuiness

Some Democratic state lawmakers say the state should hold public hearings on potential mergers involving four of the five largest insurance companies in the country.

Columbus-area resident Jenna McGuiness has a chronically ill child. She worries about her health insurance company merging with another and changing the terms of her policy.

“If insurance premiums continue to raise, if we have less consumer choice, we may not be able to go to the physicians we currently see. We may not be able to go the hospitals we currently visit, and I think that’s a real important thing for people to consider.”

Democratic House Rep. Heather Bischoff and Democratic State Sen. Edna Brown are calling on fellow lawmakers to push for public hearings before the Ohio Department of Insurance on potential health insurance company mergers – such as one proposed between Anthem and Cigna. They say the merger could eliminate competition in six Ohio cities.

The Ohio Department of Insurance says anyone who is interested in proposed insurance mergers is welcome to submit comments online, but the department does not hold public hearings on those matters.