Blue Cross and Sanford Health announce "BlueConnect"

October 08, 2013

New health plan brings a new kind of health care experience to Western Minnesota 

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. and FARGO, N.D. (October 8, 2013) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, the state’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, and Sanford Health, the largest rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation, today announced the availability of BlueConnect, a new kind of health plan designed with the western side of Minnesota in mind.

BlueConnect leverages the strengths of Sanford Health, which represents the largest provider of rural care in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) network. Building from a foundation of the trusted patient-physician relationship, BlueConnect maximizes the connected nature of Sanford Health to address a full spectrum of medical needs, from routine primary care to complex specialty care.

BlueConnect is available where Sanford Health has a presence within the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota coverage area, including 26 counties in Minnesota* and select border counties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.**  BlueConnect is available to employers as well as individuals who shop for coverage on their own. Coverage will be starting in January 2014 and is available for enrollment now through MNsure (Minnesota’s state-based health exchange marketplace), and traditional "off-exchange" channels.

Through centralized health records and highly efficient “behind-the-scenes” care coordination, BlueConnect designs a complete profile for each member and personalizes a path to their best possible health outcomes. The result is a more forward-looking, convenient and seamless care experience that works toward lowering the overall cost of care.

Designed to remove barriers to good health through Blue Cross’ portfolio of health and wellness tools, BlueConnect brings a more personalized health plan approach to western Minnesota.  

BlueConnect offers care though 30 hospitals, 308 clinics and 1,300 physicians. The BlueConnect network also provides access to Sanford Health Centers of Excellence, such as Sanford Cancer and the Roger Maris Cancer Center; Sanford Children’s, with more than 90 pediatric physicians and approximately 70 specialties and services; Sanford Heart; and the region’s largest team of physicians in Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

"People told us they want improved health and convenience," said Lori Nelson, Vice President Network Management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. "We worked closely with Sanford in order to deliver on that request. Members enrolled in BlueConnect can continue to seek care with the Sanford Health doctors they already know and trust, as they proactively manage their care. Together, Blue Cross and Sanford are bringing cutting-edge innovation to the way rural health care is delivered."

"The beauty of what Sanford brings to this partnership is the personal relationships our physicians have with their patients, which often transcends generations. This synergy, now aligned with BlueConnect, provides patients with an even greater individualized focus across their entire health care experience," said Dan Blue, MD, Sanford Clinic President. "BlueConnect provides western Minnesota patients with access to high-quality care and coverage."

Learn more about BlueConnect by speaking with your agent or broker, or by going to

*BlueConnect serves Minnesota residents in the following counties:

Minnesota: Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Cottonwood, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Jackson, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Rock, Stevens, Wadena and Wilkin

**BlueConnect providers are located in the above listed counties as well as in these border counties:

North Dakota: Cass, Richland and Trail

South Dakota: Brookings, Deuel, Grant, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Moody and Roberts

Iowa: Dickinson, Lyon and Osceola

For more information:
Jean Miller 651.662.6479
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

Emily Bormann 701.200.6080
Sanford Health