A Gold River call center has laid off 72 workers as its parent company, a private health insurance exchange, grapples with the competitive forces unleashed by the Affordable Care Act.
The company, eHealth Inc., imposed the layoffs at its Gold River call center last week. The employees worked their last day March 10. The company said in a notice to state officials that the layoffs are expected to be permanent.
“This was a difficult decision to make and was reached only after significant efforts were made to reduce expenses over the past several quarters,” the company’s vice president of human resources, Renata Lane, said in a letter to the state Employment Development Department, the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.
The layoffs in Gold River were part of a companywide downsizing that eliminated 15 percent of its workforce.
“We recognize the need to adjust our fixed cost structure as the result of lower membership than we expected in our individual and family health insurance business,” eHealth Chief Executive Gary Lauer said in a press release last week.
The Mountain View company has seen business diminish since the Affordable Care Act took effect and millions of Americans began buying coverage through Covered California and other government-run insurance exchanges.
The company reported a $16.2 million loss for 2014 on revenue of $179.7 million. Although its Medicare-related business has improved, its total membership rolls fell by 10 percent. Applications for individual and family health coverage plummeted 41 percent in the fourth quarter.
In 2013, the company earned $1.7 million on revenue of $179.2 million.
Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.