Aetna cuts another 625 jobs, cites economy
Health insurer Aetna Inc. said it cut another 625 jobs due to the economy, as it implemented reductions the company first announced last fall.
The Hartford, Conn., insurer said in November it would cut 625 jobs immediately and then make a similar number of cuts by the end of the first quarter.
The company cut more than 100 jobs in its home state of Connecticut, and the rest were spread around the country, spokesman Fred Laberge said.
"We didn't get out of any business lines or anything like that," he said. "It's sort of across different job functions and staff areas."
Aetna employs about 35,000 people, mostly in the United States, so the latest round of cuts will reduce its staff by less than 2 percent.
The company is taking a $65 million charge in its fourth-quarter for both rounds of reductions.
Aetna reports its results from that quarter and from 2009 on Friday.
The company cited the economy as the main reason for the reductions. Aetna, like several other insurers, has seen enrollment fall this year as companies cut jobs and reduced the number of people covered by employer-sponsored health insurance.
Aetna is the third largest managed care company based on enrollment. It has said it expected to end 2009 with enrollment of about 18.8 million people, which would reflect a slight drop from the start of the year but a 6 percent increase over 2008.
Aetna shares fell 75 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $29.58 in afternoon trading Thursday, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index also fell 2.3 percent.