Earlier this week, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox approved the merger of Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Health Care Service Corporation. In conjunction with the merger, Fox announced on Friday the formation of the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

"Montana law states that when a non-profit health entity enters into this type of transaction, the proceeds have to be utilized in specific ways," Fox said at a Friday press conference. "If this sale actually closes within the 60 days allowed, it is the attorney general's responsibility to ensure that the proceeds are distributed to a non-profit foundation whose mission is as close as possible to that of Blue Cross/Blue Shield."

"Today, I'm happy to announce the creation of the Montana Healthcare Foundation," Fox continued. "Like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the mission of the Montana Healthcare Foundation will be to provide financial support to improve the quality, availability and awareness of health care programs and services to Montanans."

The foundation begins with $40 million dollars from the sale of BlueCross/Blue Shield. A board of directors has not yet been named, but former University of Montana Law School dean Edwin Eck will be involved.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox