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Unhjem receiving $2.2 million severance after being fired from Blues

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota CEO Mike Unhjem

FARGO - Michael Unhjem, fired Monday as the president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, received a $2.2 million severance package.

The announcement was made this afternoon in a news release issued by the health insurer.

The news release says;

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota president and CEO Mike Unhjem's employment was terminated Monday, March 9, per the terms of his employment agreement. The employment agreement was drafted in 2007 as a result of board action following Unhjem's arrest for driving under the influence in 2006. The contract, between Unhjem and BCBSND, was drafted by the BCBSND Board of Directors, Human Resources and outside counsel."

The release also said Unhjem "displayed errors in judgment over the past couple of years that damaged the image of BCBSND" and he was fired because he violated terms of his employment agreement.

The release said "Unhjem met and exceeded company operational goals as related to customer satisfaction, administrative efficiencies and contract gains during his 18 years as president and CEO."

Further, the $2.2 million severance package will be paid in one lump sum, with $1.43 million allocated to BCBSND and the remaining $770,000 allocated to other business entities, the release said.