Anthem buys Florida insurer in first acquisition since Cigna deal failed

Anthem Inc. said it will buy HealthSun Health Plans Inc., a fast-growing Florida health insurer.

Terms of the acquisition, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

The acquisition represents Anthem’s first attempted deal since it abandoned a proposed $48 billion merger with rival Cigna Corp. after a federal judge blocked the combination on antitrust grounds.

HealthSun, founded in 2005, has about 40,000 members, a small fraction compared with Anthem's 40.6 million members. But the deal gives Anthem another "tuck-in" to build its base in Florida. Two years ago, Anthem bought Simply Healthcare, a Coral Gables, Florida, insurer with 200,000 Medicare and Medicaid members, for an estimated $1 billion.

HealthSun, based in Coconut Grove, Florida, has grown rapidly by offering Medicare Advantage health plans. The company is owned by a consortium of investors led by Summit Partners.

Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish told investors earlier this year that even though the Cigna merger fell apart, Anthem would continue to look for ways to add customers and boost revenue, in part by returning to the acquisition trail.

The HealthSun acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year.

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