The chief legal counsel for Monica Lindeen, Montana's Commissioner of Securities and Insurance has recommended approval of a merger between Blue Cross-Blue Shield and the Health Care Service Corporation.

Jesse Laslovich said the stipulation agreement is the result of long negotiations between Lindeen's staff and the two corporations.

"We worked very hard over the past few weeks to confirm certain consumer protections in the merger between the two companies," Laslovich said on Monday, April 22.

"HCSC has agreed to have lower administrative costs, so that consumers will not face higher premiums. Secondly, we insisted on the addition of 100 jobs, and a guarantee that no Blue Cross-Blue Shield employees will lose their jobs," Laslovich added.

"In addition," Laslovich said, "HCSC will pay for a vaccination van that will provide up to 2,000 vaccinations per year to poor areas such as Montana's Indian reservations."

Chief Counsel for Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jesse Laslovich