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Vol. 8 - Issue 8
September 25, 2019


CVS Buys Aetna: Introducing The 22-Foot Long Insurance Policy




I kid you not.  I was in CVS not long ago to pick up a prescription and my receipt was 53¼ inches long.  [My wife sews a lot so it was easy to find a tape measure.]

You know what I’m talking about.  You too have no doubt been treated to such retail goofiness.  The first few inches of the receipt spell out the transaction that brought me into the store.  Ironically, a prescription that was free.  After that, it’s instructions on how to share my feedback (which I’m kinda doing now), an award of $6 in “extrabucks” (whatever that is) and then it’s off to the races with a litany of coupons: $2 off Tums (28 count or larger), $5 off $22 of facial cleaners or moisturizers (any brand), $4 off $25 of vitamins (my choice to mix and match, which I guess means I don’t have to get all C but can get A, C and D), $2 off three protein bars (some brands only).  And these are just a few.    

Earlier this month a federal judge approved the merger of CVS and the behemoth health insurer Aetna.  [Really.  I’m still not making anything up.]  CVS Health Corp. described the merger this way: “As a combined company, we are working to transform the consumer health experience and build healthier communities by offering care that is local, easier to use, less expensive and puts consumers at the center of their care.” 

That may all be true.  But I see something else in my crystal ball to come out of the combined company -- seventeen foot long Aetna insurance policies.  The first six feet of the policy will provide the terms and conditions of coverage.  But it won’t stop there.  They won’t be able to help themselves.  The terms and conditions will be followed by ads for the company’s Medicare supplemental policies, a buy one get one free coupon for dental insurance and 50% off Pringles (cross-marketing with the retail side). 

Wait, my crystal ball isn’t finished.  Fueled by the constant pressure for growth, my look into the future also sees CVS Health getting into the liability insurance business.  Insurance is insurance, right?  Of course this will result in a 22 foot long CGL policy.  The first twelve feet will spell out the terms and conditions, and then the coupons and offers will kick in: 50% off terrorism coverage on your next policy, late notice excused (up to six months), punitive damages covered (up to $100,000), choose your own defense counsel (fine print: CVS Health panel rates apply).

I can imagine this claim scenario: An insured puts CVS Health on notice of a suit six weeks after the insured was served.  CVS acknowledges that it will provide a defense, but not reimburse the insured for its pre-tender defense costs, as they are not covered.  Oh yes they are, responds the insured, emailing the adjuster a Pre-Tender Defense Costs Are Covered coupon.


That’s my time. I’m Randy Spencer. Contact Randy Spencer at

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