HCSC to pay $18M to acquire Montana Blues plan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana has formally requested the state insurance department approve its proposed alliance with Health Care Service Corporation.

Under the agreement, HCSC would pay almost $18 million to acquire Blue Cross. That money will go toward a new charitable foundation aimed at improving quality, availability and awareness of healthcare programs throughout the state, KTVQ reported.

Blue Cross, which is the state's largest insurer, also would contribute roughly $100 million, which is the value of its public assets after liabilities are paid, to the charity, reported Crain's Detroit Business. That total also would include Blue Cross's reserves, subsidiaries leftover and some of its buildings.

"This alliance means security and peace of mind for our customers for years to come. It means we remain locally focused and not-for profit," Blue Cross CEO Mike Frank said. "It means we can become more efficient and keep costs down better than we could otherwise."

He added that both Blue Cross and HCSC are "excited" to combine forces, including transferring the state insurer's 274,000 members and its provider network of 2,000 physicians, hospitals and 2,800 other healthcare providers, according to the Helena Independent Record.  

Both the Montana attorney general and auditor must approve the alliance after holding a hearing within the next 90 days.

To learn more:
- see the KTVQ article
- read the Crain's Detroit Business article
- check out the Helena Independent Record article