Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, has received permission from a key regulator to proceed with its $16 billion acquisition of a major unit of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.[@@]
California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has given Anthem permission to take control of WellPoint’s Blue Cross Life & Health subsidiary.
Blue Cross Life, one of WellPoint’s biggest subsidiaries, writes health insurance for WellPoint in California.
Another, separately regulated WellPoint unit issues health maintenance organization coverage.
Anthem shareholders, WellPoint shareholders, California HMO regulators and other regulators already have approved the deal.
In theory, WellPoint could have sold Blue Cross Life before consummating the Anthem deal, but the companies have treated Garamendi’s objections to the Blue Cross Life acquisition as a major stumbling block.