Minn. Blue Cross and Blue Shield layoffs total 300 for the past year

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has laid off about 300 workers in the past year, about 100 this week alone.

Blue Cross spokeswoman Pam Lux said the insurer's headcount totals 4,000.

Lux said the cuts affected employees in IT, operations and administrative areas. She said an effort to make operations more efficient prompted some of the layoffs.

"We're working to be more efficient so we can be as affordable as possible, so in some areas we've been able to automate some functions or reduce duplications in some areas, which resulted in some staff reductions," Lux said.

In addition, Lux said customer enrollment levels are flat, due to the recession, so staffing levels had to be adjusted accordingly.

She says laid-off workers are receiving severance benefits and outplacement support.

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