Hartford-based health insurer Aetna, which provides health benefits to more than 19 million members, has announced it is cutting 625 jobs, expects to cut a similar number of jobs at the end of the first quarter of 2010, and will consolidate field offices to reduce real estate costs.
In announcing the "targeted job eliminations," Aetna said the "action is consistent with our goal of aligning our cost structure with the company's membership outlook for 2010."
Aetna, which has 35,500 employees, said the company will provide specifics about the financial impact of the next round of job cuts when that is finalized next year.
Not surprisingly, Ronald A. Williams, chairman and CEO at Aetna, pointed to the economy and possible health reform as the reasons for cutting 1.75% of Aetna's workforce.
"The economic downturn has had a significant impact on our customers. In addition, we must prepare for the impact that healthcare reform and regulatory changes may have on our business," said Williams. "Streamlining our business now will enable us to improve our competitiveness and redirect resources to areas with a greater potential for future growth. Change is never easy but, working from a position of strength, we should be able to manage through the evolving environment."
Aetna said it is making the move to "ensure Aetna's ability to meet its service and quality commitments to customers, members, and other constituents."
The laid off employees will receive severance benefits based on length of service.