Friday Health to layoff 98 employees

Courier photo by John Waters Friday Health Insurance Plans will be laying off 98 employees.

60-day notice in lieu of severance

ALAMOSA — Friday Health Insurance Plans has notified 98 employees that they will be laid off in 60 days, according to documents the company has filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and internal documents obtained by the Valley Courier. In November of last year, the company laid off 55 employees in Alamosa.

It is difficult to estimate the number of employees remaining at Friday Health, or the number of employees in Alamosa let go as the company has declined the opportunity to have an interview or answer specific questions.

According to a notice of layoff given to a Friday employee, "we regret to inform you that circumstances have forced Friday Health Plans Management Services Inc, ("FHP") to undergo a reduction in its workforce as a result of a significant downturn in business and corporate-wide reorganization."

Last year, Friday Health Plans ceased doing business in Texas, which resulted in a loss of about half of the total premium-paying members. The company lost an unknown number of members last year when it stopped operating in New Mexico.

The company has seen an exodus of executives in recent months, including cofounders Sal Gentile and David Pinkert, Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Mueller, and Chief Financial Officer Joni Walker.

Beth Bierbower, named CEO of Friday Health in December, did not respond to requests for comment. In an email to the Valley Courier, company spokesperson Tracy Faigin said the company was not responding to interviews.

The layoffs include the Director of Sales in Colorado, Director of Oklahoma Sales, Medical Director, Medical Economics Manager, Senior Manager of Medical Economics, and 15 Care Crew Representatives.

In a video conference with employees on March 1, CEO Bierbower told employees they were given 60 days' notice and "there is no severance at the end of the 60 days. We are giving you 60 days advance notice in lieu of any severance."

As reported previously, the company has successfully raised over $300 million by issuing debt and selling equity interests since 2015.

The company is optimistic that it can become profitable in the next year or so and will return to the capital markets sometime this spring to bring cash to the company.

The Valley Courier has requested comment from Friday Health Plans cofounders Gentile and Pinkert and was awaiting a reply at press time.

This article has been updated from the article that ran in the print edition on March 3.

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