- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Insurer Molina Healthcare will spend about $200 million to expand the behavioral and mental health services it provides with its coverage.

The Long Beach, California, insurer said Thursday it will buy two subsidiaries of The Providence Service Corp. They are Providence Human Services LLC and Providence Community Services LLC. Molina said the subsidiaries will complement its health plans.

Providence Human Services generated about $346 million in revenue last year and operates in 23 states and the District of Columbia. The Community Services part of the deal helps connect customers with social services outside behavioral and mental health help.

Molina offers coverage under the federally funded Medicare program and runs state-and federally-funded Medicaid coverage in several states. It also sells insurance on nine of the state-based, public health insurance exchanges created by the health care overhaul.

The Providence Service Corp. plans to use about half its proceeds from the deal to prepay some loans under its existing credit line. It might spend the remainder for acquisitions or other investments.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Tucson, Arizona-based Providence jumped 5.4 percent, or $2.38, to $46.90 Thursday afternoon while broader indexes rose slightly. Meanwhile, Molina Healthcare Inc. shares rose 14 cents to $73.34.

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