Humana, Florida’s largest Medicare managed-care company, says it will lay off hundreds of employees in April, including 328 in Florida.
Of those, 260 are in the Tampa Bay area, according to Humana spokeswoman Nancy Hanewinckel.
The layoffs hit the Humana At Home program, in which nurses, social workers and other professionals remain in contact with medically fragile patients by phone or home visits. The goal is to enable them to remain independent and stay out of hospitals and nursing homes.
Hanewinckel said in an e-mail that those laid off will receive severance payments and help in job placement. Some will be eligible for new roles in Humana, she said.
“From talking with the leaders of this team, this decision was not easy for them and was the result of what they’ve learned in the eight years since we started Humana At Home,” she wrote.
Humana workers posting anonymously on Internet layoff boards said the news was delivered in group phone calls Feb. 1. They said they were told to keep working but not to mention the layoff to Humana members.
Some said they suspected the layoff might be linked to a recent court decision barring a merger between Humana and Aetna.
Many of the members enrolled in Humana’s home-support unit are in Medicare special-needs plans for low-income disabled people. Medicare pays managed-care companies more than the usual monthly premium for these members because their needs are so extensive.
“The changes within Humana At Home will help Humana continue to deliver high quality service to these members,” Hanewinckel wrote. “…Helping our members living with chronic conditions maintain their highest possible quality of life remains the goal of Humana At Home and a critical element of Humana’s strategy going forward.”