Big Jacksonville employer issuing statewide layoffs

By Gary Scott on July 9, 2015 at 4:58pm

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois says group claims processing work the health insurer does will be outsourced to outside organizations. The total number of employees impacted by this decision is 60 across the state.

Spokesman Michael Deering says three jobs will be lost as a result at the Jacksonville office.

“There are a minimal number of jobs [being lost] around the state at specifically nine of our facilities, including Jacksonville,” he says.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois is moving to prioritize employing people at our facilities around the state who directly interact with our customers, so we are transferring the function such as groups claim-processing to some of our business partners that we already use to perform work in those types of non-customer-facing areas,” continues Deering.

Deering adds the let-go-of employees will receive severance benefits, and transition and outplacement services. Jacksonville employs a total of 319 employees at the Blue Cross office.

Rumblings began in May when WLDS-WEAI News received several messages from Jacksonville employees or friends and family of employees insisting claims examiner jobs were being outsourced. Deering told us then there was a two-year time frame for job duties, not actual jobs.

“We value and respect all of our employees, so we take these kinds of decisions very seriously and really weigh in all of the different determining factors, and that’s why it’s taken a little time to sort of determine some of these things,” says Deering.

“In fact, in May, we talked about that just because the picture wasn’t clear. At that time we really wanted to be as transparent as possible to all of our employees, to be respectful to let them know that these are some of the changes that are coming down the line.”

Deering stresses that customer service reps for the insurer would not be sent overseas to India. He adds that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois’ future is bright, touting that it’s increased its workforce over a third over the last five years.