Aetna Inc. (AET), the third-biggest U.S. health plan, agreed to buy Coventry Health Care Inc. (CVH) for about $5.6 billion to increase its share of government business following President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Aetna will pay $42.08 a share for Bethesda, Md.-based Coventry, including $27.30 in cash and 0.3885 Aetna share, the companies said today in a joint statement. That represents a 20% premium over Coventry’s closing price of $34.94 on Aug. 17, which gave the company a market value of $4.68 billion. Including debt, the deal is valued at $7.3 billion.

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