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Blue Cross Blue Shield cutting positions in Florence, Surfside offices

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Blue Cross Blue Shield is downsizing its PGBA divisions in Florence, Surfside, Camden and Columbia and eliminating positions, according to Shawn Skillman, Senior Media Relations Strategist with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Skillman didn't say how many positions would be cut. Employees told us they've heard it would be around 300 people.

He said PGBA, which claims processing, customer service, system platforms and fiscal services for multiple government partners and contracts, announced its long-planned reduction in force last week, following the loss of the TRICARE East Region Contract.

He added the layoffs won't begin until January 2018 and will occur throughout the first quarter.

Blue Cross Blue Shield released the following statement in a news release:

In an effort to minimize disruption, PGBA continues to aggressively pursue new business opportunities. Final numbers are not yet available as some staff is relocating to other positions within its parent company, and some positions are being vacated by attrition and retirement.
PGBA served as the claims processing subcontractor for the entire United States for TRICARE, the health care service program for military personnel and their families. Last year, the Defense Health Agency announced the award of the TRICARE contracts for the East and West Region. While PGBA continues to support the West Region and provides administrative services to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and other partners, the East Region will transition to another entity, requiring that PGBA downsize operations in Camden, Columbia, Florence and Surfside.

According to Mike Skarupa, president and chief operating officer of PGBA, “This action is disappointing, but is a well-known challenge in providing contractual services for the federal government.” Skarupa further stated his commitment to PGBA’s employees and the organization’s effort to minimize the loss of the contract’s impact on them.

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