CVS Health and Aetna have not had an easy path in their quest to merge, but they overcame one of the deal's biggest hurdles last week by winning U.S. Justice Department approval.
The average star-ratings performance of stand-alone Part D plans, which are managed by pharmacy benefit management companies and health insurers, has bobbled up and down for years. Part D plans fared worse in 2019 than they have in the last five years.
A federal judge blocked the proposed $54 billion tie-up between national insurers Anthem and Cigna late Wednesday, saying the combination would harm competition in the national employer market.
Wisconsin Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin's forced vote to overturn the Trump administration's plan for short-term health insurance failed in a tie, although the Democrats gained one Republican ally.
Ahead of Medicare open enrollment, the CMS said seniors enrolled in traditional Medicare will pay slightly higher premiums and deductibles in 2019.
Healthcare experts widely expected the Affordable Care Act to hobble Medicare Advantage. But Since 2010, enrollment in Medicare Advantage has doubled to more than 20 million enrollees, growing from a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries to more than a third.