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Insurer agrees to boost Blue Cross purchase price

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 14 2013 07:15:02 AM MDT
HELENA, Mont. -

An Illinois health insurer has agreed to pay an additional $23 million to acquire Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana if state regulators signal by the end of the month they plan to approve the deal.
    
Health Care Service Corp announced last year it had agreed to buy Montana's largest private health insurer in Montana. The original price was $17.6 million.
    
The new price was approved by Attorney General Tim Fox.
    
The agreement also calls for HCSC to open a 100-employee call center in Great Falls.
    
It must be agreed upon by both the attorney general's office and by Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen.
    
Lindeen attorney Jesse Laslovich tells Lee Newspapers of Montana the agreement is premature and his office isn't prepared to approve it by March 30.