New plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota marks the debut of the new Allina Health Network

Blue Choice® Featuring the Allina Health Network available to large Twin Cities employers starting in 2013

MINNEAPOLIS and EAGAN, Minn., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and Allina Health today announced a new health coverage option for large employers which pairs the most comprehensive health care system in the Twin Cities region with the state's largest health plan.

The new option, called Blue Choice® featuring the Allina Health Network, represents an expansion of choices available through Blue Choice, the defined contribution solution from Blue Cross. With a defined contribution plan, the employer gives each eligible employee a fixed dollar amount which the employee uses to "shop" from up to 20 Blue Choice plan designs. Blue Choice featuring the Allina Health Network offers a co-pay plan design as well as a health savings account (HSA) compatible plan design.  It will be available starting January 2013 to companies in the Twin Cities 11-county metro area* with more than 50 employees.

A unique network combining Allina Health with independent specialists

The Allina Health Network, available only through Blue Choice, includes all Allina Health hospitals, physicians and clinics as well as member physician practices of the Allina Integrated Medical Network, a comprehensive group of many high-quality primary care and specialty practices from across the Twin Cities. This expanded network of Allina Health and non-Allina Health providers was specially designed to offer seamless primary and specialty care coordination throughout the 11-county metro region and beyond, while delivering market-leading quality.

Blue Choice featuring the Allina Health Network provides in-network access to 12 hospitals, more than 130 primary and specialty care clinics, and more than 3,000 physicians. With the widest distribution of primary care providers throughout the Twin Cities, the Allina Health Network is uniquely positioned to serve employee populations that live and work across the metropolitan area. 

In addition to offering a unique combination of in-network providers, Blue Choice® featuring the Allina Health Network is priced below typical offerings in the large group market – which can translate to significant cost savings for employers.

A plan designed to enhance the patient experience

Every member enrolled in Blue Choice featuring the Allina Health Network receives enhanced pharmacy benefits which include 100 percent coverage of preventive drugs. Many members will also benefit from coordinated care management of chronic conditions and smoother transitions in care settings. Additionally, all members can access an array of innovative Allina Health services, including:

  • the specialized services and programs of Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing, the Sister Kenny® Rehabilitation Institute, the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute® and the outstanding cardiology programs at Allina Health  hospitals
  • online appointment scheduling and lab results can be provided conveniently through MyChart
  • a focus on prevention and wellness services and community health improvement programs that emphasize physical activity, healthful eating and maintaining a balanced life.

"Patients who select Blue Choice featuring the Allina Health Network will have access to a comprehensive network of primary and specialty care physicians and hospitals, including not only Allina Health branded institutions and caregivers but many additional top-quality providers throughout the region as well," said Robert Wieland, MD, executive vice president, Allina Health clinic and community division. "Through this offering, patients will benefit from coordinated, comprehensive care as their health needs change over time."

"When Blue Cross launched Blue Choice earlier this year, we said plan options would continue to grow," said Kathy Dunmire, vice president of product management at Blue Cross. "Our collaboration with Allina Health delivers on that promise. Blue Choice featuring the Allina Health Network represents a shared commitment between two health care leaders to enhance care coordination and the patient experience. With this new offering, Blue Cross continues to provide employers with affordable and flexible coverage options."

Employers can learn more about Blue Choice featuring the Allina Health Network by speaking with their agent or broker, or by going to

* The 11-county metro area includes Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington and Wright counties.

About Allina Health

Allina Health (formerly Allina Hospitals & Clinics) is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

(Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Allina Health are separate and independent entities.)

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota