WellPoint is eliminating 1,500 jobs or about 3.5% of its workforce, the Indianapolis-based health insurer announced. The cuts include 900 unfilled open positions and about 600 workers. WellPoint has 42,000 employees.
The staff cuts wont affect Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D compliance staff, according to a company statement. On Jan. 12, the CMS forbade WellPoint from enrolling new members in these two Medicare programs and conducting related marketing efforts because of multiple deficiencies.
WellPoint, the nations largest health insurer by membership with 35 million enrollees, said it will take an after-tax charge of about $24 million because of the job cuts. The company earlier this week said that it had an investment loss of $349 million in the fourth quarter. Officials said they would release more financial details on 2008 and its outlook for 2009 at its earnings release on Jan. 28.
With the current state of the economy, we made a difficult decision to adjust the size of our workforce as we continue to meet our members needs while appropriately controlling operating expenses, said Angela Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, in the statement.