You may have heard the news over the weekend of a mega-merger between two of the country's biggest health insurance companies, Aetna and Humana. The $37 billion deal is just one of a series that are expected to reshape the health insurance landscape, after the Supreme Court decision last month made it clear that health care reform was here to stay.
The question most people care about outside Wall Street -- what effect these mergers will have on what we pay for health care is a source of some disagareement among specialists. One of the most surprising -- and weird -- things about the insurer merger mania is that ultimately, some analysts think it might have benefits for consumers. But others say there is some evidence that a marketplace with fewer insurers will be bad for consumers.
Either way, we won't see the effects trickle down to premiums for about a year because the health plans starting in the year 2016 are already in place.