Centene to lay off 2,000 employees

St. Louis-based health insurer Centene is laying off approximately 2,000 workers, or about 3% of its total workforce.

The company did not reveal to Fierce Healthcare where the workers are located or what positions they held. Employees will first be notified Oct. 2, and their last day of work will be Dec. 8, as first reported by Health Payer Specialist.

“Centene is committed to improving the health and health care of the members we serve,” according to a statement provided to Fierce Healthcare by a company spokesperson. “We are investing to deliver value for our customers now and into the future, both by leveraging our size and scale and by rightsizing our cost structure."

"We routinely assess our workforce to ensure we have the talent and expertise necessary to support our members and the evolving needs of our business," the statement said. "Our decision was not made lightly and impacts approximately 2,000 employees, just over 3% of our workforce. Centene will support impacted employees with severance packages and outplacement services, consistent with our standard approach.”

It does not appear that the health insurer filed a WARN notice through the state of Missouri, according to a publicly available dashboard. Centene did not provide Fierce Healthcare with more clarity regarding whether it filed a WARN notice.

CEO Sarah London said the payer lost 263,000 Medicaid members in the second quarter during an earnings call in July. The company posted total revenue of $37.6 billion, up year over year by 5%. It anticipates Medicare revenue will shrink in 2024 due to a decrease of star quality ratings published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The financial update, which includes reduced profit projections, comes as the company has refocused its mission on its core, highest-performing businesses.

Centene sold off Circle Health Group, a hospital operating in the U.K., to PureHealth in August, just one example of the company refocusing its mission. The company also canceled plans for an East Coast headquarters in North Carolina, KMOV4 reported.