What it Means to be a Nonprofit Health Plan


Being a nonprofit health plan means to put the community first. Minnesota’s nonprofit health plans – including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Hennepin Health, Medica, PreferredOne, Sanford Health and UCare – are local companies with a shared mission of getting Minnesotans the affordable, equitable and quality-based care they need.

They’re always looking for ways to best serve Minnesotans

Having a nonprofit status means health plans invest their resources back into members and communities to bring wellness within reach for everyone. Much of this work is connected to what is called the social determinants of health, which are the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. This includes working with community organizations and stakeholders to make social and environmental conditions healthier for members; providing wraparound services that support members in taking their medications, getting to their appointments on time and coping with emotional stresses around their diagnosis; ensuring that care is culturally appropriate and equitable, and supporting the broader economy through workforce growth and robust community giving. Health plans also invest in innovative models of care that incentivize providers based on quality.

They know your needs, because they’re from here, too

Local nonprofit health plans have a special connection with Minnesotans because company leaders and employees live, work and seek medical care in the same places members do. This drives their mission to get all Minnesotans the affordable care they need today and in the future. Nonprofit health plans know that the success of Minnesota hinges on the health and wellness of everyone who lives here. They do this through:

  • PARTNERSHIP: Plans work with a variety of stakeholders, including people who deliver care (providers, hospitals and health systems), people who need care (children, adults and families across Minnesota) and people who work to make care better (legislators, regulators, state health officials and others) to promote policies and processes that make health care more effective for everyone.
  • ACTION: Through advocacy, education and legislative efforts, nonprofit health plans take practical action today to make better health possible for generations of Minnesotans to come.
  • DATA: They use and develop data to inform public policy, improve care and help manage expensive medical bills on behalf of all Minnesotans.
  • COMMUNITY: Minnesota’s nonprofit health plans work together to focus on solving problems and finding opportunities to make the health care system work better because we work here, live here and our companies’ financial resources are dedicated to care for our community.
  • UNDERSTANDING: Nonprofit health plans understand that health care is deeply personal, urgent and expensive. Thus, they know that having health insurance coverage helps spread out the cost of expensive health care, helping people gain access to care that they otherwise couldn’t afford.

What else do Minnesotans get from nonprofit health plans?

Nonprofit health plans pay more than $800 for medical care every second. And, on average, less than 1% of “profit” (called operating gain) per year is left over for health plans after paying all the bills. This money goes into medical reserves to pay for unexpected expenses in the future, like costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike large national companies, Council members do not pay a dime to Wall Street shareholders. Nonprofit health plans put people over profits, and they also do a lot more work behind the scenes to protect the health and wellness of Minnesotans, including:

  • Reducing our medical expenses by negotiating discounted rates with doctors, hospitals, and other providers of care; by preventing fraud and abuse; and by finding new ways to minimize paperwork and increase access to information.
  • Protecting us from financial ruin if we are badly injured or become very ill.
  • Providing information that helps us live healthier lives, manage our health troubles, and pursue our own well-being.
  • Helping us stay well with preventive services, routine check-ups and incentives like health-club discounts.
  • Helping us navigate health care choices with advice and support from caring nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals.
  • Improving the care we get by making sure it meets quality standards.
  • Enabling businesses to keep their employees healthy, happy and productive.

For more information on how nonprofit health plans work in Minnesota, visit https://mnhealthplans.org/faqs/understand-insurance/.

How plans support Minnesotans


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