Humana Schedules Layoffs As Insurers Struggle To Cut CostsDow Jones Newswires/Wall Street Journal reports that Humana, one of the nation's largest health insurers, "said it will shed nearly 1,400 jobs, or 5% of its work force, this year" because of declines in enrollment. The company will cut a total of 2,500 jobs, but plans to hire 1,100 new employees to help with such issues as controlling medical costs and managing pharmacy benefits (Brin and Kingsbury, 2/17).
"Humana's Louisville work force will drop from roughly 10,000 workers to 9,250," The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reports. The insurer is headquartered in that Kentucky city. However, the "cuts will be spread across the country, with the bulk occurring in Louisville and Wisconsin where 275 positions will be eliminated. Humana bought an employer-sponsored health insurance provider in Green Bay in 1995" (Downs, 2/17).
"Humana is the latest health plan to slash costs as Americans lose coverage in the recession, following Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. and Aetna Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut," Bloomberg/BusinessWeek report. "While Humana had seemed insulated by revenue from Medicare Advantage, the government-subsidized benefits for the elderly, cuts are coming in that program as well," an analyst said. Humana was "the the health insurer with the best-performing stock over the last six months" (Larkin and Nussbaum, 2/17).
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