The Montana Attorney General’s Office deposited a new $40 million check this week—money from the sale of Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Montana to an out of state company.
Another $100 million or more may eventually be on the way as Blue Cross sells off its assets.
Under state law, that money needs to go toward creating a non-profit foundation with the broad goal of improving the quality of healthcare in the state. Attorney General Tim Fox appointed former UM Law School Dean Ed Eck as the initial interim trustee. He’s leading a search committee to appoint the final Board of Trustees which will oversee the foundation.
It hasn’t been determined what exactly the foundation will do to improve healthcare. Eck said that’s why it’s so important the right board of trustees is selected-- to decide on the best direction possible.
“It’s likely that as situations change, the trust will use the funds for various healthcare needs over the lifetime of the trust, which we expect to be perpetual,” Eck said. “It’s important that we have trustees that are familiar with their communities and familiar with Montana’s healthcare needs or are interested enough to make themselves familiar with that.”
Eck said the search committee will be looking for trustee applicants through this next month. The committee is looking for those with leadership positions in healthcare or in their community. Also, those with knowledge of investments and non-profit work are encouraged to apply. Positions would be paid but not full time. Trustees would be able to keep their current job.
Eck said these trustees would have the potential for a real positive impact.
“We all know that we have underfunded and unfunded healthcare needs across the state, particularly in the rural areas of the state. And these trustees will have substantial resources with which to address some of those problems,” he said.
Those who want to nominate someone as a trustee to the Montana Healthcare Foundation need to submit their nomination letters by August 9th.
Potential trustees must apply by August 23rd.