WPS warns workers Wausau office could close

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — WPS Health Insurance has warned its hundreds of employees in Wausau that the company may be forced to close the central Wisconsin office because it’s lost a key contract.

WPS offices in Wausau and Madison handle claims for TriWest Healthcare Alliance. The Phoenix, Ariz., company has administered TRICARE, a Department of Denfense division that provides managed care for military personnel in 21 states. But TriWest lost its $17 billion military contract and appealed. It recently learned that appeal was denied and the contract will be awarded to UnitedHealth Military & Veterans, a division of UnitedHealth Group.

WAOW-TV reports a top WPS executive says the Wausau office might close after the TriWest contract expires in April. WPS won’t say how many people might be facing layoffs, but as of last year the company had 500 workers in Wausau.