58 layoffs loom at University of Arizona Health Plans

Tucson-based University of Arizona Health Plans may cut 58 jobs next year following the end of a health plan contract it held since 2005 in the state's most populous county, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare was chosen for the contract with Maricopa Integrated Health System, a safety-net provider in Maricopa County, in May. As a result, UA Health Plans, a subsidiary of the $1.2 billion UA Health Network, will lose 80,000 residents enrolled in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program.

The contract still requires a formal agreement with MIHS, and local AHCCCS approval.

The affected plans in Maricopa County represented one-third of UA Health Plans' business. UA Health Plans has stopped hiring for nonvital positions and is using temps to assuage the fallout, according to the report.

UA Health Plans Vice President and CEO James Stover told the Arizona Daily Star the cuts will not occur until March 2017 and may be fewer than projected. UA Health Plans will manage affected plans through December before members transition to UnitedHealthcare.

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