HealthPlus to lay off 500, sell state contracts

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

HealthPlus of Michigan, a health care plan provider that is a competitor of Blue Cross Blue Shield, announced it would lay off a planned 500 workers in July.

The company announced the layoffs in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the state last Friday, saying the decision would impact its offices in Flint and Saginaw.

The layoffs are scheduled to take place between July 15 and 29, according to the notice signed by Todd Harrison, the director of human resources for HealthPlus of Michigan.

The positions range across all areas of the company with some union jobs represented by the UAW. For those employees, bumping rights do exist. The company said it will be encouraging employees to leave on their own and expects the actual number of layoffs to be lower.

The estimated layoffs include 38 customer service representatives, 31 managers, 11 systems analysts and 10 medical case managers.

Spokespeople for the company did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment Wednesday.

At the same time as layoffs were announced, HealthPlus of Michigan said it would be handing over segments of its business with the state to Molina Healthcare of Michigan.

In a press release, the company said Molina would acquire its Medicaid and MIChild contracts. HealthPlus Partners and HealthPlus of Michigan currently arrange for health care services for about 90,000 Medicaid and 6,000 MIChild patients.

HealthPlus of Michigan’s president and CEO said the deal will help the company maintain its brand.

“Medicaid has been a significant growth product for HealthPlus in recent years, especially with the Healthy Michigan expansion,” Jenkins said in a statement. “However, this strategic move will provide us the needed capital to maintain the HealthPlus brand as well as to strengthen and grow our Medicare and commercial lines of business.”

Molina said it plans to fund the deal with cash on hand and that transaction is expected to be closed by the third quarter of this year.

For it’s part, Molina pledged a smooth transition for customers.

“Molina Healthcare of Michigan is excited about this opportunity to expand our health plan in the State of Michigan,” Stephen Harris, president of Molina Healthcare of Michigan, said in the release. “We look forward to a smooth transition and delivering on our commitment to provide quality care for our members.”

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