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HealthPartners and Avera launch new insurance plan option in Southwest Minnesota

HealthPartners Cornerstone plan combines Avera’s high-quality care network with HealthPartners’ market-leading customer service expertise and lower cost of care

April 26, 2022

Bloomington, Minn. — HealthPartners announced today that it is adding a new health plan option for large employers in nine southwestern Minnesota counties.

The plan is called Cornerstone. It leverages a value-based care model centered around Avera and includes Avera’s facilities and partners, Access Health and Pipestone County Medical Center Avera to achieve better care coordination across a wide spectrum of services and specialists. These efficiencies improve health outcomes, lower the total cost of care and provide employers up to 15% savings compared to other health plan options in the area.

“With Cornerstone, we’ve designed a plan option that’s ideal for employers with 51 or more employees in southwest Minnesota who need competitive benefits to help attract employees and keep them healthy,” said Julie Bunde, vice president of product and market innovations with HealthPartners. “It helps lower the cost of local care, is more affordable for employers and provides their employees with a broad care network for times when people need care away from home.”

The plan provides in-network coverage to more than one million providers and 6,300 hospitals nationwide. It also features in-network telehealth coverage, including Virtuwell® and Doctor On Demand. HealthPartners is one of the top-rated health plans in Minnesota and among the highest-rated plans in the nation with a rating of 4.5 out of 5, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) commercial Health Plan Ratings for 2021. It also is the highest-ranked health plan for overall satisfaction in the Minnesota-Wisconsin Region, according to the most recent J.D. Power Commercial Member Health Plan Study.

Optimal care and coverage

Avera Health is a large, integrated health system that operates hospitals and clinics in the region and has a South Dakota based insurance plan. In Minnesota, Avera Health was looking for a partner to develop a health plan option that offers effective care and coverage for its patients in the state.

HealthPartners is also an integrated health system and offers plans in Minnesota. The organizations’ shared vision for integrated care and coverage paved the way for collaboration and is foundational to the Cornerstone plan.

“Our organizations understand that when care and coverage are truly aligned, it’s better for employers, members and patients,” said Debbie Streier, Regional President and CEO of Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. “This plan will add to the vibrant business culture in southwest Minnesota, and offers an affordable plan that facilitates high-quality care.”

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners is an integrated health system, providing care to more than one million patients and coverage to more than 1.8 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. HealthPartners also provides medical education and conducts research through its HealthPartners Institute.

HealthPartners received the highest score in Minnesota/Wisconsin Region in the J.D. Power 2018-2021 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Satisfaction Studies of customers’ satisfaction with their commercial health plan. Visit

About Avera Health

The Avera Health system has over 20,000 employees and physicians, serving more than 300 locations and 100 communities in a five-state region. Our ministry, our people and our superior value distinguish Avera. We carry on the health care legacy of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, delivering care in an environment guided by our values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship. For more information about Avera, visit our website at

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