The Chicago-based parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is eliminating about 400 middle management positions, the company confirmed Tuesday.
Health Care Service Corp. is eliminating the jobs this week from “various company locations to reduce organizational redundancy and improve decision making efficiency,” spokesman Greg Thompson said in a statement. The cuts will take place at Health Care Service Corp. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, which are based in Chicago, and also at the health insurance plans it operates in Texas, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Thompson declined to say how many jobs the company is eliminating in Illinois. Health Care Service Corp. and its plans across those five states have 24,000 employees overall.
“To best serve our customers now and into the future of the rapidly changing health care landscape, we are rebalancing our resources to meet the diverse needs of our customers, provider partners and other stakeholders,” Thompson said.
The company plans to add about 1,000 jobs in customer and provider service, technology and digital capabilities. No additional reductions are planned at this point, Thompson said.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is the dominant health insurer in Illinois, with more than 8.5 million members here. In 2018, Health Care Service Corp. made a profit of $4.1 billion, which included $1.7 billion the company got back from the federal government because of changes made under the new tax law.
The cuts come at a time of rapid change for the company. Health Care Service Corp. also laid off dozens of middle management employees in December.
The company has also had upheavals in its leadership. Health Care Service Corp. announced in July that its president and CEO Paula Steiner would leave after leading the company since 2016. At the time, a person with knowledge of the situation said there may have been a difference of opinion between Steiner and the board about strategy and vision.
Chief Financial Officer Eric Feldstein, Chief Information Officer Steve Betts and Chief Human Resources Officer Nazneen Razi also left in recent months. Steve Hamman, a longtime employee, is now president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Maurice Smith, who was president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, serves as president of Health Care Service Corp.
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