By Marielle Segarra
Providence, R.I. – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is laying off 58 employees and cutting 45 other positions. Blue Cross and Blue Shield employs more than 1,000 local residents.The layoffs come less than a month after Blue Cross received a 9.8 percent rate increase. The company had requested increases around 13 percent. Blue Cross Blue Shield reported a one hundred-million dollar loss in 2009. A release from the health insurer says the cuts were needed to ensure the company's financial stability and to continue to provide Rhode Islanders access to quality, affordable health care. The company's spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the news release. It's not clear which positions have been eliminated.