Payers are ditching office space nationwide

As the workforce across the country continues to adjust to more flexible workstyles, health insurers have hired C-suite talent and opened new office spaces that support hybrid workstyles.

Other companies have made the decision to downsize or end leases on physical space altogether. These are seven payer moves to reduce office space reported since April 1:

Fidelis Care is committing to remote and hybrid employee workstyles and will exit some leases for unspecified office space in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region of New York, The Buffalo News reported Sept. 6.

Centene confirmed in August it is no longer moving forward with its plan to build a 2.4 million-square-foot East Coast campus in Charlotte, N.C., because of the shift to hybrid and remote work. Centene will keep its existing physical space in Charlotte's uptown neighborhood.

UnitedHealthcare is downsizing its office space in Connecticut, the Hartford Business Journal reported Aug. 12. Starting in September 2023, the payer will go from 350,000 square feet to 57,000 square feet within Hartford's CityPlace I building.

Molina Healthcare said July 28 it plans to reduce its real estate footprint by two-thirds in a move toward permanent remote work. The company will end leases on about 2 million square feet of office space across the country.

Centene said in July it is no longer moving forward with the remainder of a $775 million expansion of its corporate campus in Clayton, Mo.

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, about half of the 1,600 employees now work remote or hybrid, the Wichita Business Journal reported June 29. The Topeka-based payer has also moved its Wichita office from the city's downtown to a 14,404-square-foot space at 8621 E. 21st Street, which is designed with hybrid work styles in mind.

Centene said June 17 it will reduce its real estate footprint by 65 percent to incorporate a more "modern, flexible work environment." The payer is expecting a one-time cost of $750 million to $800 million to terminate leases and decommission space through the end of the third quarter of this year. Cutting the space will reduce expenses by $180 million to $200 million annually.

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