Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) has tried to position itself for the world of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) health insurance exchanges by agreeing to pay $7.3 billion for Coventry Health Care Inc. (NYSE:CVH).
The price includes $5.7 billion in cash and stock and an agreement by Aetna, Hartford, to take on responsibility for $1.6 billion in Coventry notes that will come due from 2014 through 2021.
PPACA will require states and federal agencies to create a new system of exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, that individuals and small groups can use to buy health coverage starting in 2014. PPACA also will require health carriers to offer coverage on a guaranteed issue, mostly community-rated basis.
See also: PPACA: A History