Blue Cross of California said Friday that it will trim 184 jobs in its group services division in Oakland over the next year but will transfer 25 of them to Sacramento.
The health insurer, which moved its headquarters to Woodland Hills early this year, said the cutback stems from eliminating an inefficient claims-processing system. Twenty-five customer service jobs will be moved to Sacramento to handle the anticipated increase in work there, said John Cole, who heads the Oakland division.
Because the jobs will be eliminated over 11 months, attrition will likely reduce the number of actual layoffs, spokeswoman Jeanette M. Hartman said.
The company, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and insures 58,000 individual policyholders and 2.5 million participants in group medical policies statewide, has been struggling to bring fast-rising loss claims under control. Just last month, it announced an increase in deductibles for individual policies and said it will raise group premiums by an average of 15% to 20% as policies come up for renewal. "We've experienced a substantial increase in costs in the last few months," Cole said at the time, explaining: