BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced last week that the company will eliminate about 100 jobs, or 2 percent of its workforce across the state, in a cost-cutting measure. An additional 100 vacant positions will remain unfilled for 2013.
The eliminated positions range from jobs in the company’s operations center to posts in executive management. In total, 25 percent of affected positions are at the management level.
Bill Gracey, CEO-elect for BlueCross, said their sincere hope was to cut costs without impacting people, but it was a tough decision that they could not avoid. Gracey also said “The health insurance industry is undergoing tremendous changes. That It is growing more competitive by the day, and they are facing unprecedented challenges that require more efficient operations.
In a news release the company cited the Affordable Care Act’s medical loss ratio (MLR) restriction and new $200-million-plus annual excise tax that BlueCross will have to pay starting in 2014.
According to Gracey, BlueCross has responded by engaging in many initiatives to streamline processes, to innovate and find more efficient ways to fulfill its mission to its members, but these efforts have not been enough.