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Humana to Shed Jobs Amid Insurance Slump

Source: The Arizona Republic

Posted on 18 Feb 2010

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Humana Inc. said Wednesday that it would shed about 1,400 positions nationwide as it seeks to pare and adjust operations due to declining enrollment for its insurance business.

It's too early to tell how the corporate reshuffling will impact Humana's more than 1,200 workers in Arizona, spokesman Ross McLerran said. In Arizona, Humana has Arizona offices for commercial sales, Medicare, direct marketing and its mail-order prescription-drug business.

Overall, the company said it would eliminate 2,500 positions nationwide through a combination of jobs cuts, attrition and outsourcing, but the insurer also said it would add 1,100 positions in growing areas such as medical-cost containment and pharmacy management.

McLerran said Humana's Louisville, Ky., headquarters will see the most cuts, with a net loss of 750 positions by the end of this year. An additional 275 positions will be eliminated from Humana's Wisconsin operations, and the remaining 375 positions will be shed in other states.

Humana said it has to adjust to cope with its declining membership. The insurer's total enrollment fell 11 percent last year. Humana finished 2009 with about 10.3 million clients. Humana Inc. sells commercial insurance and Medicare Advantage plans, administers Medicaid coverage, and provides coverage through the military's Tricare program.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, Humana counted 154,300 members in Arizona among its various insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicare Advantage and commercial plans. That represented a decline of about 10 percent from the company's Arizona membership of 171,200 as of Dec. 31, 2007, the company's 10-K filings show.

Even though the industry overall has reported strong profits, other health insurers also have announced job cuts over the past several quarters.

Aetna Inc. has cut 1,250 jobs since November.

WellPoint Inc. and Cigna Corp. also have cut more than 1,000 jobs since the recession started.