Aetna Laying Off 80 in Connecticut

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Gunnar Pippel

    Aetna is laying off dozens of workers, including about 80 in Connecticut.

    The Hartford Courant reports that the insurance company has started laying off 160 people because of profit losses because of federal health care reform and 80 of those work in the state and include managers and their assistants in Aetna’s technology and service operations.

    Cynthia Michener, assistant vice president of public relations for Aetna said via e-mail on Wednesday that the Innovation, Technology and Service Operations announced a redesign in August "to become more consumer-centric and to more effectively and efficiently serve our customers." 

    This included cutting about 160 management jobs, about 80 of which are in Connecticut.

    "Staff reductions are never easy. These decisions are not made lightly. We are providing support services and salary continuation," she said in the e-mail.

    Starting in 2014, people who do not get insurance through an employer will be able to buy it directly in what’s called an Affordable Insurance Exchange, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

    PwC released a report on Tuesday stating that 12 million people will find coverage on these exchanges and pay a total of $55 billion in premiums for coverage, according to CNBC. While most of the money will be new, according to the report, some premiums will shift from “other parts of the insurance market.”

    It is because of that, Aetna officials told the Courant, that the company is adjusting its business model to make itself more competitive and better serve its customers.

    Some workers were laid off in September and there will be more layoffs through the beginning of 2013.

    The employees who are being laid off will receive nine weeks of pay and some will get severance packages depending on how long they’ve been with the company, the Courant reports.

    Last year, the company announced that it would cut jobs through a voluntary early retirement offer.

    In August, Aetna announced plans to buy fellow insurer Coventry Health Care to bolster its Medicaid enrollment.