Louisiana's Civil Service Commission has decided to approve a plan by Governor Bobby Jindal to allow the hiring of a private company to be in charge of the management of a health insurance program for state employees.

The vote by the Louisiana Civil Service Commission will eliminate 177 state jobs.  The number of actual layoffs will be lower, as only 121 people are currently working in the program. The layoffs will bring savings to the state of nearly $20 million.

Governor Jindal's plan was approved by a vote of  three to two.  Office of Group Benefits health program will now be run by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Sixty-two thousand employees and their loved ones receive health benefits through that program.

Blue Cross Blue Shield will begin case management of the program at the beginning of 2013.