NU Online News Service, Jan. 9, 6:19 p.m. – CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says it will eliminate 2,000 jobs and realign service operations at its Employee Health Care, Life and Disability Benefits unit.

CIGNA is including $100 million in expenditures for the realignment and other cost-cutting efforts in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2001. About half the expense will be for cutting jobs, and half for cutting offices, the company says.

CIGNA had about 43,900 employees Sept. 30, 2001, according to company figures.

CIGNA says it hopes to increase efficiency and save at least $45 million a year by using new technology to serve its 14 million major medical plan members and 13 million dental plan members.

CIGNA reported earlier today in a separate announcement that it will be using personalized Web sites to communicate with most major medical and dental plan members by the end of the year.

The benefits unit realignment will leave the unit with nine primary regional service centers and several specialty service centers, CIGNA says.