The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration this week issued an order that would prohibit Aetna and Humana from doing business in the state in the comprehensive individual and small group markets, group Medicare Advantage market and some individual MA markets if the health insurers consummate their proposed merger. Missouri’s insurance statutes require the department to review and analyze whether a merger would substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. Based on evidence presented at a hearing this month, Department Director John Huff concluded that the proposed Aetna-Humana merger would in the identified markets. “The department’s ruling is consistent with the evidence that was presented at the recent public hearing, and written testimony on market concentration submitted by MHA and other organizations,” said Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO Herb Kuhn. “We’re pleased that state regulators recognized this important tipping point in market share and have moved to protect health care providers and Missouri’s consumers in the individual marketplace, Missouri’s exchange marketplace and Medicare Advantage.” In an AHASTAT blog post, Kuhn and MHA General Counsel Jane Drummond said they hope Missouri’s decision “will empower other states’ regulators to fully review the impact of the proposal” and “protect their providers and consumers similarly.” In other news, Christopher Bailey, executive vice president of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, yesterday urged the State Corporation Commission to oppose the proposed merger of Anthem and Cigna at a hearing on the transaction.