Montana Healthcare Foundation

Christopher Ebdon (CC-BY-NC-2)

In a big, rural state like Montana, medical care is often far away. And because most hospitals here are small, people who experience serious trauma or need specialty care often have to fly to get it. The cost of that service is really expensive, and sometimes it isn't covered by health insurance.

In 2013, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana, then a not-for-profit corporation, was sold to Health Care Services Corp, a Chicago-based insurance company. Under state law, the sale assets were transferred to a charitable trust, the Montana Healthcare Foundation, to be managed for the public benefit. To date, the MHCF has roughly $80 million in assets.

Community Medical Center, Missoula, MT
Josh Burnham

A Missoula Community Medical Center board member says the only issue left to resolve in the sale of the hospital is whether $10 million from the sale can go to the University of Montana Foundation. But Attorney General Tim Fox appears to be taking a broader view.

Attorney General Tim Fox’s office said Tuesday a group of candidates have been nominated for the board of a new healthcare foundation created following the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana to an out-of-state company.

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.