Investors and analysts are convinced that insurers are set to join the wave of consolidation taking place in the health-care sector, though it's still uncertain how the acquisition pairings could play out among the top insurers.
"We believe Aetna could be a strategic buyer of Cigna," wrote Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte in a note to clients. She added that potential deal "may play out more favorably from a timing and CEO succession perspective given the two leaders at the helm."
For regulators, the big question is whether consolidation among the major insurers would reduce competition. Part of the goal of the Obamacare legislation was to create a competitive individual consumer insurance market.
But consumers, have other questions, namely, what does this mean for their wallets.