Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas's long-discussed acquisition of Harris Methodist Health Plan will finally occur. After 18 months of negotiation, Harris Methodist agreed to become part of the Blues family for $100 million.
The selling price is a long way down from better days at Harris Methodist — a swing that may be indicative of general trends in the industry. According to the Dallas Morning News, a 1995 state audit listed the HMO's value at the time between $260 million and $280 million.
In other merger developments, New Jersey's attorney general is taking a look at whether Aetna U.S. Healthcare's proposed buyout of Prudential's health insurance business would violate antitrust laws. If the sale is completed, Aetna would control almost 60 percent of HMO-covered lives in Bergen County, N.J., near New York City.