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Blue Cross asks regulators to approve merger

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has formally asked for approval of its proposed merger with the nation's fourth-largest health insurer.

The company said in a release Friday that it filed paperwork with the Montana commissioner of securities and insurance and the attorney general on the alliance with Health Care Service Corp.

The two companies announced the deal in September.

Blue Cross Blue Shield says HSCS will pay $18 million for some Blue Cross assets and will assume some of its liabilities.

Other Blue Cross assets worth more than $100 million will go to a new charitable health foundation.

HCSC has 13 million members in Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Blue Cross is Montana's largest insurer with 272,000 members