© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Anthem to hire 250 new employees at downtown St. Louis headquarters

Anthem President Stephanie Vojicic, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and CarelonRx Specialty Pharmacy President Dan Mandoli stand in front of a stack of microphones at a press conference.
Tristen Rouse
St. Louis Public Radio
Anthem President Stephanie Vojicic speaks alongside St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and CarelonRx Specialty Pharmacy President Dan Mandoli at a press conference Thursday. The company announced the addition of 250 jobs to its specialty pharmacy division in downtown St. Louis.

The health insurance company Elevance, known as Anthem in Missouri, is hiring 250 new employees to work at its downtown St. Louis office.

The new employees will work in the company’s specialty pharmacy division, which focuses on providing benefits to those who need complex, expensive drugs to treat serious diseases.

The jobs announcement came as several high-profile clients have moved out of the city’s core. City leaders on Thursday gathered for a press conference at Anthem’s Missouri headquarters near Union Station to celebrate the company bucking the trend.

The company has used the building on Chestnut Street as its headquarters for three decades, said Anthem Missouri President and CEO Stephanie Vojicic.

“We have conversations with our associates very frequently about location and space, and they enjoy being here,” she said. “We have seen a lot of progress and momentum recently in downtown St. Louis. And we're really excited to be part of that.”

A recent estimate from the real estate firm CBRE finds around one in five square feet of office space in the central business district is vacant. Shootings, speeding cars and other high-profile crimes downtown have bothered some residents and business owners.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones noted that despite some companies’ departures, other businesses have renewed their leases or are planning to move into the neighborhood.

The city needs to find new ways to revitalizethe city’s core after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, saying she hopes others will follow Anthem’s lead.

“We are welcoming people who will patronize our downtown restaurants, walk from their office to the next City SC game or Blues game or whatever they choose, or even purchase a home nearby,” she said.

Officials say Anthem will hire people to cover positions ranging from entry-level jobs at around $20 an hour to six-figure salaried jobs for pharmacists.

Patients’ need for specialty pharmacy products is increasing as drugmakers develop complex infusions to treat cancer, hemophilia, HIV and other serious health conditions, said Dan Mandoli, the specialty pharmacy president at CarelonRX, a company that manages pharmacy benefits under Elevance and Anthem.

Because the drugs are complex and expensive, insurance companies require more people to process, review and sign off on their use, he said.

“The challenge with these drugs is they tend to have very significant side effects,” Mandoli said. “And they have to be very specific, which is why you don't want to go to just a regular retail pharmacy to get these drugs, you need the consultation that goes along with them.”

Officials said they plan to hire all of the new employees by the middle of 2024.

Sarah Fentem is the health reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.