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Illinois Insurance Jobs Lost

Posted on August 12, 2009

Hundreds of Illinois insurance jobs will soon be lost as one company begins making cuts.

Health Care Service Corporation, the Chicago-based company that runs Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, recently announced its plan to eliminate 650 jobs throughout the state. The cuts are being made because of the economic recession, which has caused the company’s employer customers to reduce workers, and a demand from Congress and President Barack Obama to reduce administrative costs.

Health Care Service Corporation, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, is planning to reduce its total workforce by about 4 percent. According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, jobs will be eliminated by Q1 of next year.

Health Care Service Corporation is the fourth-largest health insurer in the country with more than 12 million health plan members. Several other companies have also made job cuts in order to offset the fact that employer clients are reducing their own workforces.

“The move is partly a result of the troubled economy that has caused many of our employer group customers to downsize, translating into actual and projected recession-related membership losses for HCSC in a number of our markets,” company officials said. “Those same employer customers are asking us to be even more cost effective as we renew their business – a way to help them in this difficult business climate.”

“The changes also reflect considerations beyond the current economic climate, as all indications from the healthcare reform debate are that health insurers will be expected to further reduce administrative expenses to help reduce the overall cost of health care,” officials added.

The job cuts are expected to reduce the company’s administrative expenses by about $70 million, as well as “prepare the company for expectations of moderated growth for the remainder of 2009 and 2010.” Overall, the company said most of the job cuts will affect Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas.

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