A West Coast company is trying to pass a small government program health plan on to another company.

Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif., has applied for permission from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to transfer Health Net Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization plan in New York City to Touchstone Health Partnership Inc., New York.

The Health Net New York City Medicare Advantage HMO covers 6,500 individuals in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.

Health Net already relies on Touchstone, a doctor-owned Medicare HMO, to provide health benefits for 5,700 of the 6,500 plan members, Health Net says.

Health Net and Touchstone are not saying whether the transaction involves any exchange of cash.

The companies hope to complete the deal Sept. 1st.

The deal should not affect Health Net commercial health insurance operations anywhere in New York state or Health Net New York state Medicare operations outside of New York City, Health Net says.

Health Net Medicare plans are growing in upstate New York and in Connecticut, Health Net says.