Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana announced Thursday that they have joined the Benchmark Group of medical insurance companies.
The Benchmark Group is a nonprofit affiliation of insurance companies in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and now Montana. The original four providers came together in June 1995.
The goal is to find ways to combine some of the members’ services to cut costs.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana is the state’s largest private health insurer and serves more than 235,000 residents. It employs 669 people.
“There is a trend all across the country within the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System and the insurance industry to consolidate,” said Alan Cain, president and chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana.
With the addition, The Benchmark Group now serves more than 3 million members in the region.