MILWAUKEE (AP) _ United Wisconsin Services Inc. officially became Cobalt Corp. Tuesday after completing its merger with Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin.

Under the merger approved by the firms' boards of directors in December, Blue Cross becomes a for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of Cobalt Corp.

As part of the deal, the new Wisconsin United for Health Foundation received 31.3 million shares of United Wisconsin Services stock as a way of compensating for benefits Blue Cross received over the years as a nonprofit health insurer.

The proceeds from the sale of the stock, estimated at about $250 million, are to be used to fund programs at the state's two medical schools, as well as public health programs throughout the state.

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On the Net:

Cobalt: http://www.cobaltcorporation.com