HCSC offers $23M more to buy Montana Blues

Health Care Service Corporation, which already agreed to buy Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, now has upped its purchase price for the insurer by nearly $23 million.

However, that offer is contingent upon Montana insurance regulators agreeing by March 30 that they will approve the deal, reported the Great Falls Tribune.

HCSC originally agreed to spend $17.6 million for the Montana Blues plan last November, bringing the purchase total to almost $41 million.

With the new deal, HCSC also agrees to open an employee call center in Great Falls, Mont., that will employ at least 100 workers, the Independent Record reported.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox agreed to the deal's new terms, but Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen must still approve the agreement before it becomes official. And it doesn't seem likely that she will do so by the end of the month.

"We appreciated that (HCSC) brought more money to the table," said Jesse Laslovich, chief counsel for Lindeen. "We thought they should bring more money to the table. But we thought it was a disservice to the public to enter into an (agreement) before the hearing."

What's more, Laslovich added that Lindeen isn't likely to issue her recommendation regarding the purchase until April 19, the Associated Press reported.

To learn more:
- read the Great Falls Tribune article
- see the Independent Record article
- check out the Associated Press article