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Anthem's Bid Latest in Blues Consolidation

The age of the "Super Blues" may be dawning, thanks to the consolidation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans. That's the opinion of some experts after Anthem's $4 billion purchase of Trigon Health Care.

There are 43 Blues plans today, far fewer than what existed in earlier years.

Mike Taylor, a principal with Towers Perrin, tells Business Insurance magazine that "there's going to emerge three or four Super Blues" and Anthem will be among them.

The deal, to be finalized in three to six months, would make Anthem the largest owner of Blue Cross plans, covering about 10 million people in 10 states.

"Anthem is acquiring a very strong Blues plan that has a strong market share and has a good track record of earnings," Douglas L. Meyer, senior director at Fitch IBCA, tells Business Insurance.

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