Associated Press COLUMBIA -- Officials at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Columbia say a new Medicare contract will allow the company to bounce back from losing 700 jobs last summer. A new contract with the federal government will create about 750 jobs. The federal Medicare agency hired the Blue Cross subsidiary, Palmetto GBA, to handle claims from residents in several states. The subsidiary lost the jobs last summer when a different Medicaid contract expired. Blue Cross Blue Shield has 6,300 employees in Richland County and is one of the area's largest employers.