Aetna and Anthem announced Monday they will buy the nation’s largest insurer for $59 billion.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will create the nation´s third-largest insurer and bring together the nation\’s largest health insurer and a small-group provider.
The agreement includes a $2 billion infusion for Aetnam and a $4 billion infusion in 2019 for Anthem.
Anthem is also making an initial $4.9 billion payment to the state of Massachusetts, which had agreed to pay Anthem $1.9 million annually for 10 years.
The acquisition is a win for the Trump administration, which has pushed for a combination of smaller, cheaper insurers to compete with bigger, more expensive companies.
Anthem, which operates in the state, had said it would keep most of its operations, but would expand in the states.
Anthem said the deal with Aetnas would give it access to more consumers and doctors, as well as provide for a greater range of care.
The merger, which would also allow Anthem to offer its services to the private sector, was approved by the Federal Communications Commission and is expected to close by the end of the year.
Anthem and Aetams board of directors also approved the deal.
The combination will allow the two companies to operate in a way that is less dependent on one another, the company said in a statement.
Anthem also said it will provide access to a new Medicare Advantage plan for some customers.
The plan will be offered at no additional cost to Anthem customers.
In an announcement Monday, Anthem said it was going to “reinvest in our core health care mission, and the health care needs of the people of New England, and expand access to care in the private market for the majority of our customers.”
The merger will make it easier for consumers to purchase health insurance through Aetnahas own health insurance marketplace, according to the company.
The company will be able to offer insurance plans at a lower cost than it does today, and provide more choice for its customers, said John R. White, president and chief executive officer of Aetamina.
Anthem and AETna had been engaged in talks for more than a year.
Aetnan was also a target of the Obama administration and was looking to buy Aetam, but the deal fell through after Aetnahnas board voted against it.