A Delaware judge has rejected Anthem's request for a preliminary injunction to block Cigna's exit from the proposed $54bn merger.

Delaware’s Court of Chancery judge Travis Laster has refused Anthem’s appeal of blocking the merger deal and denied its request for a preliminary injunction.

Earlier this month, Anthem has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the US Supreme Court, regarding the acquisition of Cigna.

The petition has been filed seeking review of the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s majority decision that would limit access to affordable care for millions of Americans and deny them more than $2bn in medical cost savings annually.

In February this year, a US federal judge blocked Anthem from acquiring its rival Cigna, saying that the merger would result in higher costs and less competition.

The proposed merger was said to form the single largest provider of medical healthcare coverage in the country. This, as per the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruling, would have left only four national carriers had the merger deal gone ahead as planned.

In the same month, Cigna scrapped the plan to merge with rival Anthem, and sued insurer for $13bn in damages because the agreement did not secure approval.

The health insurer said it was terminating the merger with Anthem after a federal judge blocked the deal over anti-competitive grounds.

In July 2015, Anthem first signed an agreement to acquire health Cigna for around $54.2bn enterprise value.

Cigna provides products and services through its operating subsidiaries, including Connecticut General Life Insurance, Cigna Health and Life Insurance, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York.

Image: A Delaware judge has denied Anthem’s request for a preliminary injunction on acquisition of health insurance products provider Cigna. Photo: courtesy of everydayplus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.