HumanaThis story has been updated.

Monday marked a crucial advancement in the proposed Humana-Aetna deal, with shareholders for both companies giving the green light to proceed.

The companies’ boards of directors already had approved the deal, which entails Connecticut-based Aetna acquiring Louisville-based Humana for $37 billion. In separate meetings on Monday, the shareholders of both health insurers voted overwhelmingly in favor, though federal regulators still have the final say. The companies expect the deal to close in mid- to late 2016.

If the acquisition goes through, both firms say Humana will maintain a “significant” presence in Louisville, where it currently has more than 12,000 employees. Specifically, Louisville would remain the headquarters for the firm’s Medicare and Medicaid businesses.

In a statement following Monday’s vote, Aetna CEO and chairman Mark Bertolini said: “The complementary combination of our companies brings together Humana’s leadership and expertise in the Medicare Advantage business with Aetna’s strengths in the large commercial health insurance business. The acquisition will enable us to offer more consumers a broader choice of products, access to higher quality and more affordable care, and a better overall experience in more geographic locations across the country.”

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