NU Online News Service, Aug. 15, 11:46 a.m. – Oregon and Washington insurance regulators say they will hold a joint public conference in Portland, Ore., Aug. 21 to discuss the proposed affiliation of the Regence Group, Seattle, with Health Care Service Corp., Chicago.

Health Care Service is the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.

The Regence Group controls the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Oregon and Washington, as well as health plans in Idaho and Utah.

The Aug. 21 meeting will give the public an opportunity to comment on the Health Care Service proposal, regulators say.

The Regence Group and Health Care Service say the affiliation will help them cut costs, by allowing them to consolidate departments that handle matters such as information technology, human resources, and legal services.