- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has opened a call center in Great Falls, fulfilling one of the conditions of Health Care Service Corp.’s purchase of the nonprofit insurance company last year.

The Great Falls Tribune reports (http://gftrib.com/1tLfwM4 ) about 45 employees began taking calls on Monday, answering questions from doctors, hospitals and staff in five states about patient eligibility and benefits. By fall, the company expects to employ 120. Wages start at $12.84 an hour.

The conditions of Health Care Service’s $40 million acquisition of Blue Cross last August included creating 100 jobs in Montana. In September, the company announced it was opening a call center in Great Falls.

Blue Cross had about 150 Great Falls employees working in claims processing from 1960 until 2011 when it closed the operation due to cutbacks.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com