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The merger highlights the importance of insurance companies and benefits advisors having access to data that can inform and shape the way that health care is designed, delivered, and evolved over time. (Image: Shutterstock)

Early this week came news just about as big as anything the insurance world has seen in the past few years: CVS has agreed to acquire Aetna for $69 billion. Pending approval of the merger, there are several implications to highlight for the benefits industry, specifically as it would affect benefits advisors.

First, this deal makes it even more clear that the battleground in the insurance and health care spaces is distribution. A combined CVS and Aetna prove that the biggest players in their respective spaces (retail / pharmacy and insurance) are willing to bet on reinventing how health care is delivered. They aim to do this by integrating the actual manufacturing of “products” (health care) and how that “product” is distributed (via the nearly 10,000 retail pharmacies CVS currently operates).

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