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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mergers between health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers have been billed as a way to save employers money. But half of employers don't expect that to happen, according to a new JPMorgan survey.

Driving the news: In JPMorgan's survey of top human-resources executives from 50 companies, exactly 50% said they don't think integrating medical and drug benefits under one roof will "drive overall health care savings."

What they're saying: Here are some of the anonymous quotes JPMorgan gathered from respondents on the skeptical side:

  • "There's too much money to be made. They're not offering integrated services to give up revenue."
  • "I am not sure why going back to how it was will magically result in overall savings."
  • "More ways to hide money."

The other side: Even among the other 50% — the executives who were more optimistic about savings — that optimism was tempered.

  • "Conceptually, this should mean greater influence over prescribing patterns. To date, in my opinion, it hasn't," one executive said.

Between the lines: As we wrote last year, this spate of consolidation among insurers and PBMs would not have happened unless those companies were pretty sure they could hang on to a lot of the savings they produced.

  • Employers can always switch insurance carriers if they think they are getting overcharged. But they rarely do so, because they don't want the employee backlash that's associated with overhauling health benefits.

Go deeper: Health insurance is as big as Big Tech

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

The road to COP26 gets slightly easier

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The bad diplomatic vibes heading into the critical United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, might be improving slightly.

Catch up fast: Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday pledged to end overseas finance for building new coal-fired power plants and boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Narrowing the employee divide

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Companies are narrowing the blue- and white-collar experience as they're forced to adapt to a worker-led market.

Driving the news: Basic office tools and concepts like corporate communications and schedule flexibility are migrating to frontline operations through investments in technology.

3 hours ago - Health

U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world

A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The Biden administration is planning to purchase 500 million more Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine doses to donate to the world, officials said in an op-ed Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move represents a big step toward making the U.S. a major global vaccine supplier just as China has ramped up exports of its Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino vaccines, which can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.