WPS Health Insurance

Media Release

MADISON, Wisconsin
November 6, 2012

WPS Health Insurance announced today that it is adjusting its resources in response to competitive pressures and recent losses in the government contract market.

The company will adjust resources across the corporation. Staffing impacts could affect 600 positions, though this number is subject to change. The actual adjustments and timeframe depends on the outcome of protests and additional opportunities.

Adjustments will occur in phases over the next year. Notices to staff will begin as early as November 2012.

Recent activity in the company's government business lines makes the reductions necessary.

In its TRICARE Division, the company served as a subcontractor to TriWest Healthcare Alliance of Phoenix, who recently lost a contract to administer benefits in 21 western states. This contract expires April 1, but some administrative tasks will continue through September. Primary staffing impacts because of this contract loss will be at facilities in Madison and Wausau. WPS will keep the Wausau facility open and expects to have 50 employees working at that site.

In its Medicare Division, the company was recently awarded two significant Medicare contracts to administer Part A and Part B Medicare benefits in Indiana and Michigan, as well as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Despite these successes, WPS must do more with less to meet cost commitments that are a normal part of competitive bidding. Staffing impacts will be at facilities in Madison, Nebraska, and other out-of-Wisconsin locations.

Recently, the company was not awarded a contract that would have served Medicare beneficiaries and providers in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. WPS has filed a protest on this Medicare contract decision and expects to learn the results of the protest by mid-January.

"This is a very difficult process for WPS and its employees, but it is real and necessary", WPS CEO Mike Hamerlik said. "WPS will continue to focus on what makes us successful – understanding and meeting the needs of our customers." 

In keeping with the corporate belief that employees are its most important asset, WPS is offering a severance benefit. Impacted employees can also apply for open positions at WPS, access outplacement services, and receive assistance in contacting employment opportunities through various agencies, like Wisconsin Job Service.

About WPS Health Insurance
Founded in 1946, WPS is Wisconsin's leading not-for-profit health insurer, offering affordable individual health insurance, family health insurance, high-deductible health insurance, and short-term health plans, as well as flexible and affordable group plans and cost-effective benefit plan administration for businesses. The WPS Medicare division administers Part A and B benefits for millions of seniors in multiple states, and the WPS TRICARE division serves millions more members of the U.S. military and their families. In 2012, the international Ethisphere® Institute named WPS one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the third straight year. WPS is the only health insurance company to earn this distinction multiple times.

For more information about WPS Health Insurance, visit www.wpsic.com.

Media Contact: Tami Gilbertson
Media Telephone: 608-223-5999

Media Email: wpsnews@wpsic.com

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