Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri notified 125 workers Thursday their jobs are being eliminated at its Cape Girardeau operations center.
This amounts to nearly 40 percent of its 316-person work force employed at its 471 Siemers Drive location, which opened in 1996.
Positions eliminated are 92 jobs handling calls from doctors and other health care providers and 33 jobs processing medical claims, said Deborah Wiethop, public relations director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri.
The claims workers were given 30 days' notice, while the other employees received 60 days' notice.
"We have had a membership drop the past year, as many health plans have, as a result of other companies that have laid off people," Wiethop said. "We've lost about 3.9 percent of membership nationwide over the past year."
Some of the claims processing jobs will be relocated to Anthem's Indianapolis operations center. Calls from health care providers will now be outsourced to APAC Customer Services Inc. of Bannockburn, Ill. According to its website, APAC operates call centers in the United States and the Philippines.
"We are always looking at administrative costs and efficiencies as well as our staffing levels," Wiethop said.
"Anytime there is a loss of jobs it's a bad deal for the area and for each individual," said John Mehner, CEO of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce. "We will work with them to see if there are other businesses in the area that are hiring to see if they can be placed. With the economy it's difficult right now. "
In addition to the employees laid off in Cape Girardeau, 11 employees at Anthem's Springfield, Mo., operation also were given notice Thursday their positions are being eliminated and 139 jobs at Anthem's Worthington, Ohio, facility were eliminated.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has 40,000 employees nationwide and serves 34 million customers.
471 Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO