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CVS has reportedly put in an offer to buy Aetna. Photo: AP file

CVS on Sunday night said that it will acquire health insurer Aetna for around $69 billion in cash and stock. Four big questions that remain unanswered by this evening's press release:

1. What will be the relationship between CVS and those covered by Aetna insurance? For example, will an Aetna customer be required to purchase medications within the CVS network, or use urgent care facilities for services that can be handled by CVS MinuteClinic? If not, will there be surcharges for going to a rival pharmacy?

2. CVS and Aetna discussed data synergies, but how far will those extend? For example, will your health insurer learn about your junk food habit?

3. How will this affect negotiations between non-Aetna insurers and CVS? Will Aetna rivals play hardball with CVS and/or softball with other pharmacies?

4. Will other pharmacy chains feel pressure to do a similar acquisition? Big CVS rivals like Walmart, Kroger and Walgreens could soon take a hard look at insurers like Anthem, Cigna, Humana and United Health. And how does Amazon — which is rumored to be looking at both pharmacy and pharma — react?

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

11 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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