In the wake of losing its contract with the government to provide health insurance coverage through the public MiSalud plan, insurer Humana Health Plans of Puerto Rico Inc. announced Thursday it will eliminate 329 jobs from its local operation.
The majority of the layoffs — which represent about 47 percent of the company’s total workforce — will take effect Oct. 1, company President Earl Harper confirmed via a written statement.
“As a result of the non-renewal of the MISalud contract for the East, Southeast and Southwest regions, today we announce the elimination of 329 jobs from our operation on the island,” Harper said. “It is a normal process in the elimination of a line of business we had been managing effectively for the past 16 years, being the only insurer that was in MI Salud since the start of the program.”
In late June, the Health Insurance Services Administration, or ASES, announced it had awarded the management contract for the government’s health plan entirely to Triple-S Inc., saying that in doing so, it would save $46 million in expenses.
The transition from Humana to Triple S began July 1 and is expected to run through Oct. 1, when the layoffs will take effect.
“This has been a difficult decision for our business, because we have high caliber professionals committed to the health of the people of Puerto Rico,” Harper said. “Humana is a company that supports its associates, and therefore, we’re making arrangements to seek opportunities in other jurisdictions where Humana operates or relocate staff to other business development areas.”
“However, it is important to do a realignment of our operation in search of efficiencies to continue our growth in the Commercial and Medicare lines. Similarly, it is our desire to offer a personalized service to our members and compete effectively in a changing and competitive market,” he said.
Humana has been doing business in Puerto Rico since 1997 and has since built a subscriber network with more than 14,800 providers. Prior to losing participation in MISalud, the company had a subscriber base of more than 622,000 people on the island.
“It is important to note that our members and providers will continue to receive the best care and continuity of services as we have offered so far,” Harper said.