Employees out of work at company once subject of News 4 Investig - KMOV.com

Employees out of work at company once subject of News 4 Investigation

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The SERCO facility in Wentzville employs workers to process and verify applications for the Affordable Care Act.  (Credit: KMOV) The SERCO facility in Wentzville employs workers to process and verify applications for the Affordable Care Act.  (Credit: KMOV)
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A company thrust into the national spotlight by a News 4 investigation has laid off many of its workers.

Employees at a Serco location in Wentzville were leaving in tears Thursday.

The company processes and verifies Affordable Care Act applications. 

News 4 spoke with employees and their family members who say they are devastated to lose their jobs. But, they tell News 4 there's been zero work to do over the last few weeks, a refrain that's not new.

“Our supervisor said if we process one or two of these a month we have done our job,” a former Serco employee previously told News 4.

“We played Pictionary on a very dry erase board,” said another.

In May 2014, Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus exposed wasteful spending as Serco employees stepped forward and claimed they were bored and got paid to do very little work. 

The Serco facility operates as part of a $1.2 billion contract awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). 

More recently, employees said that there were still slow periods, but conditions, and workload improved over time. 

That is until now. Thursday, employees say the workload had, in last few weeks, screeched to a halt.

News 4 does not know exactly why the layoffs are happening now, though, or exactly how many people have been told not to show back up to work.

Employees say they're now on call for November.

CMS later released the following statement:

To maximize operational efficiency outside of open enrollment periods, Serco, a CMS contractor that supports the Health Insurance Exchange is scaling down their activities.  The work that Serco does to support the Exchange is seasonal in nature, and is staffed to handle the demands of open enrollment periods.   As has been done in previous years, we will continue to work with contractors to manage staffing levels throughout the year to meet consumer demand.

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