HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Health insurer Aetna Inc. has announced plans to slash 6,000 jobs, or 16 percent of its work force, saying it did not need as many employees given lower membership levels.
Aetna, which employed 37,000 people as of Sept. 30, said that 4,400 people would be laid off, while the other 1,600 jobs will be cut through attrition.
"These actions are necessitated by changes being made as we press forward with our turnaround plan, implement our new strategy, and reduce costs and improve efficiency," chairman and chief executive John Rowe said in a statement Thursday.
Last month, Aetna posted a third-quarter loss of $54.4 million. At the time, Rowe said that the company had been successful in reducing administrative expenses but was being hurt by climbing medical costs.
Aetna is the nation's leading provider of health care and related group benefits, serving 17.5 million health care members, 13.7 million dental members and 11.7 million customers with group insurance, which can include life, disability and long-term care insurance.
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