Insurer Blue Cross to cut 650 jobs

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The parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield in four states, including Illinois, has announced it will shed 650 jobs as it prepares for operations after the expected adoption of health care reforms.

The parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield in four states, including Illinois, has announced it will shed 650 jobs as it prepares for operations after the expected adoption of health care reforms.

Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp. operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The company on Wednesday announced plans to reduce its work force about 4 percent by the first quarter of 2010.

Health Care Service Corp. has more than 12 million health plan members. Other giant health plans have announced similar job cuts in recent months as their employer clients reduced employees and restructured health benefit packages.

In an internal memo obtained by the Chicago Tribune, Health Care Service said the cuts and related adjustments will reduce administrative expenses by about $70 million.

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Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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