Partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and Altru Health System brings lower-cost plan

Two young professionals talking on a sofa.

New plan brings high quality coverage to 11 North Dakota counties

Fargo, N.D.Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) and Altru Health System today announced the launch of a new tiered network health plan. Available during the 2022 open enrollment period, the new plan offers individuals, families and employers in 11 counties coverage that is most affordable when care is received at Altru Health System.

The four-tiered DakotaBlue | Altru plan is the first of its kind in the BCBSND product catalog. Care provided at Altru Health System and a preferred network of providers (tier one) has the lowest out-of-pocket member expense. Members can also choose to receive care from providers in tiers two, three and four at costs that increase with each level.

“DakotaBlue | Altru is a way for us to challenge health care costs,” says Kristi Huber, BCBSND Chief Marketing Officer. “Through this partnership we created a straightforward plan that delivers high-quality care at a lower price. We’re excited for customers to learn about tiered plans and take advantage of their savings.”   

On average, premiums are 15% lower than comparable plans with traditional network structures.

In its inaugural year, the plan will be available in 11 North Dakota counties which represent Altru’s service area. Counties include Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Grand Forks, Griggs, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Steele, Towner, and Walsh.

Cost savings and improved quality come in part from focusing on one integrated health system where providers can easily share health records, test results, treatment plans and avoid duplication of services. 

And, while costs will be lowest when care is received at Altru, the new plan covers healthcare providers outside the system at different rates.

 “We are excited to partner with BCBSND on a plan geared specifically for those in our service area,” shares Todd Forkel, Altru’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our vision is to provide world-class care to the residents of our region. Access to affordable, integrated care is part of that vision. We look forward to this partnership and the benefits it will provide to those we serve.”

In addition to offering quality care and low cost, the new plan adds telehealth coverage at no cost. The new plan also includes the same innovative wellness resources and preventive care coverage as other BCBSND products.

For more information on the new plan, visit

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
BCBSND ( was founded in 1940 with the mission to provide members with affordable access to health care across the state. As a member-owned, not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), BCBSND is committed to transforming care and health across the state to improve outcomes, lower cost trends and make it easier to shop, buy and use health care coverage. Members have access to unmatched local service and to a comprehensive network of health care providers across the state, the nation and in 200 countries.

About Altru Health System
Based in Grand Forks, N.D., Altru Health System is an independent, non-profit healthcare organization. We are physician-led, with over 300 providers and 55 specialties of care. Altru boasts an acute care hospital, specialty hospital, level II trauma center and more than two dozen practice locations throughout northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota. Altru was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic expertise to the patients we serve. Altru employs over 3,600 staff and providers who are empowered to fulfill Altru’s vision of providing world-class care to the residents of our region. For more information, visit