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WellPoint cuts worker health benefits

Posted Oct. 19, 2009

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WellPoint, the nation's largest private health plan by enrollment, said it has eliminated an unspecified small number of jobs and cut back on employee benefits to deal with membership losses that have cut into revenue and earnings.

In a memo originally obtained by Bloomberg News, WellPoint told employees it would lower its contributions to their health benefits and raise deductibles on two out of its three plans. The memo said workers' cost per paycheck would "probably increase."

WellPoint told Bloomberg that even after the reduction in benefits, it still would cover 82% of premium costs.

The firm said it expects to let another unspecified, small number of employees go before year's end. WellPoint cut 1,500 workers in January.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/10/19/bibf1019.htm.

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