New Medicare cost plans available in N. Dakota and S. Dakota

HealthPartners and Sanford Health are working together to offer new Medicare Cost plans. The plans will give residents in North Dakota and South Dakota more choice when selecting a Medicare health plan this fall.

The plans will be available for Medicare’s annual enrollment period. That begins Oct. 15 and goes through Dec. 7. It’s when people eligible for Medicare can review and change their plans. Coverage will start Jan. 1, 2018.

“The plans we’re offering represent the best of both companies: Sanford Health’s network of trusted providers and the Medicare expertise of HealthPartners,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO, Sanford Health. “By introducing these new plans in the market, we are furthering our commitment to provide high quality, low cost health care to residents of the Dakotas.”

In 2016 and 2017, HealthPartners’ Medicare Cost plans earned a Five out of Five (5) Star Rating* from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The ratings evaluate the quality and service of plans.

“We both have a long history as non-profit health systems here in the Midwest, and a shared mission to improve the health of people within the communities we serve,” added Andrea Walsh, president and chief executive officer, HealthPartners. “By working together, we can advance the quality and affordability of care, and support our friends, families and neighbors in living healthy lives. It’s our shared goal as we look for additional ways to partner in the future.”

The new plans offer consumers a coordinated care and benefit coverage experience. They also include travel benefits, routine vision and hearing exams, gym memberships and other programs to help members get and stay healthy.

Residents of select counties in North Dakota and South Dakota who are eligible for Medicare can buy the plans.

What is Medicare Cost?

Medicare Cost plans are a type of Medicare health plan available in certain areas of the country. These plans offer more benefits than traditional Medicare.

People with Medicare Cost plans can continue to keep their traditional Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. This allows them to see providers and hospitals outside of the plan’s network or service area. Covered services under these benefits are then paid for by Original Medicare.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, just 17 percent of North Dakota residents and 20 percent of South Dakota residents enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Cost plan last year. This is below the national average. In some states, including neighboring Minnesota, more than 50 percent of eligible residents choose Medicare Advantage or Cost plans.

About the plans

All plans include the Sanford Health doctors that consumers already know and trust, as well as other doctors in the network. Consumers eligible for Medicare can choose from four different plans:

  • HealthPartners® Sanford Basic (Cost), a $35 premium/month plan.
  • HealthPartners® Sanford Vital (Cost), a $38.90 premium/month plan.
  • HealthPartners® Sanford Active (Cost), a $71.90 premium/month plan.
  • HealthPartners® Sanford Ultimate (Cost), a $155.90 premium/month plan.

The HealthPartners Sanford plans are a good fit for those who:

  • Want a network that includes Sanford Health doctors, among other providers in the area.
    • Prefer to pay a lower monthly premium.
    • Want to keep traditional Medicare benefits.
    • Like to travel frequently.
    • Are looking for additional benefits that traditional Medicare does not cover – like routine vision and hearing exams, worldwide emergency care and a gym membership.

How to learn more

Learn about upcoming informational community meetings, compare plan details or enroll online.

Or, consult a licensed HealthPartners representative by calling 800-247-7015, TTY 711. From Oct. 1 through Feb. 14, call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT, seven days a week to speak with a representative.

From Feb. 15 to Sept. 30, call 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT Monday through Friday to speak with a representative. On Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays, leave a message and we’ll get back to you within one business day.

Individuals eligible for Medicare in 2017 can enroll anytime during their initial enrollment period.

About HealthPartners Health Plans

Founded in 1957, HealthPartners serves more than 1.8 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation and provides care, coverage, research and education to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. HealthPartners is the top-rated commercial health plan in Minnesota and is also one of the top-rated health plans in the nation, according to National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2016–2017. The HealthPartners family of plans includes HealthPartners, Inc., HealthPartners Insurance Company and HealthPartners Administrators, Inc. For more information, visit

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 45 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Sanford Health’s 28,000 employees, including more than 1,300 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have allowed for several initiatives, including global children’s clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. For more information, visit

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits and premiums may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. The provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Other providers are available in our network. A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodation of persons with special needs as sales meeting, call the numbers above.*Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.

 HealthPartners is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in HealthPartners depends on contract renewal.