UCare Cuts 245 Jobs

The health insurer lost bids to run part of the state’s low-income health programs.

UCare said on Monday that it would slash 245 jobs as it winds down state contracts for the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs.
The Minneapolis-based insurer lost the contracts during competitive earlier this year. UCare filed a lawsuit to retain some of the business, but dropped that late last week. It was able to keep its contracts in just one county – Olmsted.
Job cuts were inevitable for the company – UCare will lose about 350,000 clients, which the Star Tribune says contributed to roughly half of its $3 billion in revenue last year.
“Every UCare employee is a valued employee,” CEO Jim Eppel said in a statement. “This has been a very difficult process for all of us across the organization.”
UCare’s proposals during bidding didn’t score as high on cost and quality measures with the state, MPR News reports. Medical Assistance is Minnesota’s Medicaid program, covering very-low income residents, while MinnesotaCare is offered to those who don’t qualify for Medical Assistance but still have low incomes.
It’s likely not the end for the company. It offers plans for seniors on Medicare and for individuals shopping for their own coverage.
Insurers Medica, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and HealthPartners are picking up most of UCare’s old clients.
Some of UCare’s laid off employees might not be unemployed for long: Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare said earlier this month that it would hire 1,700 works in the Twin Cities over the next six months.