Aetna, Hartford, Conn., began its third round of layoffs in a year, announcing it would cut 690 jobs, or about 2.5% of its workforce, to match declining membership and take a $30 million charge in the fourth quarter to cover severance and facilities costs. The company eliminated 4,400 jobs in December 2001 and in September announced plans to eliminate an additional 2,750 jobs over the next year. It will have 27,500 employees after the latest layoffs. Since posting operating losses throughout 2001, Aetna, the nation's second-largest health insurer, has made a concerted effort to shrink itself back to profitability by dropping members. The company's enrollment stands at 13.9 million, down from 20 million in 2000, when it was the nation's largest health insurer. -- by Laura B. Benko
Aetna plans more layoffs as membership shrinks
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