A Western Colorado health insurer praised by national politicians for keeping down costs is being sold.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans of Grand Junction is being sold to UnitedHealth, the nation's biggest health insurer.

The Daily Sentinel reports that Rocky Mountain's president and CEO says the company decided to sell to restore its capital base.

President Barack Obama visited Grand Junction in 2009 when he was talking up his health care overhaul. He praised Rocky Mountain Health Plans. National reports from the news media to the New England Journal of Medicine held up the company as a model of affordable care for rural areas.

But now the 42-year-old plan will be switching from a nonprofit entity to a for-profit business. The sale awaits approval by state authorities.