Jet Traffic Stirs Speculation of Potential Walmart-Humana Deal

  • Dec 08, 2023

    If the recent activity of Humana Inc.’s private jet is any indication, The Cigna Group may have to compete with Walmart Inc. in its reported bid to combine with the Medicare Advantage-focused insurer. 

    That bit of corporate intrigue comes courtesy of Gordon Haskett Research Advisors, an investment brokerage that offers a service tracing the movements of major companies’ aircraft to “track possible signposts of M&A, strategic partnerships, activism, etc.”  

    Don Bilson, head of event-driven research at Gordon Haskett, wrote in a Dec. 1 post on X (formerly Twitter) that “Humana flew to Arkansas yesterday” — the same day the Wall Street Journal published a report, citing anonymous sources, that Cigna and Humana were discussing a deal to combine. “Could be harmless, but these two did talk in 2018,” Bilson said, referring to a WSJ report in March of that year indicating that Walmart was in “early-stage acquisition talks” with Humana. Walmart is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.  

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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