Tufts Health Plan Announces Layoffs

Tufts Health Plan, which has seen enrollment shrink in the past few years, recently announced that it will lay off an unspecified number of its 1,800 employees. The layoffs will affect fewer than 100 employees, the health plan reports, and 50 positions that are currently unfilled will also be eliminated.

According to the Boston Globe, the move is part of a plan by chief executive James Roosevelt Jr. to boost enrollment and improve the financial showing of Tufts’ insurance operations.

“Fourteen months ago, we set out to stabilize our membership,” Roosevelt told the Globe. “We’ve achieved that several months ahead of schedule. We now have a strategic plan for the next three to four years, and in keeping with that, we’re going to invest in certain areas, redeploy people in some areas, and sometimes we will have reductions in the size of our work force.”

Most of the layoffs will occur at the Tufts Waltham headquarters or its operations center in Watertown.

Some positions are being eliminated as a result of Tufts’ decision earlier this year to terminate its relationship with Destiny Health of South Africa, which provided Tufts with a consumer-directed health care plan in which members pay higher deductibles and co-pays to help keep premiums low. However, the plan attracted only 10,000 members, so Tufts is planning to roll out its own consumer-directed plan.

Tufts has just over 600,000 members, down from 929,000 in 2002. According to the Mass. Division of Insurance, Tufts boasts about 32,000 members in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties, giving it the third-largest presence in Western Mass.

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