A managed care company says it is laying off 600 employees and eliminating 900 open positions.

WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, says it now has about 42,000 employees. The cuts will reduce the size of its workforce by about 3.5%.

The employees who will lose their jobs will get severance pay and outplacement help, WellPoint says.

WellPoint will be recording a $24 million charge in connection with the cuts.

The jobs cuts will not affect Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D compliance staffers, WellPoint says.

WellPoint is set to release its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008 Jan. 28.