Centene CEO Tops AIS List of Highest Paid Health Plan Executives

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June 1 issue of Atlantic Information Services’ Health Plan Week ranks the total compensation for publicly traded health insurer CEOs in 2014; Centene Corp. CEO tops the list at $19 million.

Spurred by Centene Corp.’s 80% stock price gain for 2014, CEO Michael Neidorff tops Atlantic Information Services, Inc.’s Health Plan Week (HPW) annual table ranking the compensation of publicly traded health insurers, which appears in its June 1 issue. Based on filings to the Security and Exchange Commission, HPW can report that Neidorff earned $19.3 million last year, a 33% increase from 2014.

Most publicly traded health plans performed well on the stock market, Steven Kaplan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, tells HPW. Therefore, “[s]alary is less of a factor. Bonus and equity-based pay have increased over time.” For example, Neidorff’s base salary was $1.2 million in 2014, HPW found, but he received $3.6 million in bonuses and almost $14 million in stock awards. The second highest earner on the list, Aetna Inc. CEO Mark Bertolini, earned $12 million in stocks and options, according to Aetna’s SEC filings; his salary was less than $1 million.

When it comes to compensation, “boards face two countervailing pressures,” Kaplan says. “On the one hand, there is pressure for fairness. On the other hand, there is pressure to find the best CEOs and pay market prices for them.”

Charles Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, tells HPW the robust compensation paid to CEOs across all industries is based on external factors that board-level compensation committees rely on, saying that plans base their executives’ compensation on what other CEOs are making when deciding on how much to pay their own executives. “Everyone is being compared to others in the same industry,” Elson says.

Visit http://aishealth.com/archive/nhpw060115-02 to read the article in its entirety, which includes the table ranking total compensation for publicly traded health insurer CEOs.

About Health Plan Week
Published since 1991, the 8-page weekly newsletter Health Plan Week provides timely, objective business, financial and regulatory news of the health insurance industry. Coverage includes new benefit designs and underwriting practices, new products and marketing strategies, mergers and alliances, financial performance and results, Medicare and Medicaid opportunities, disease management, and the flood of reform-driven regulatory initiatives including medical loss ratios, exchanges, ACOs and myriad benefit design changes that are mandated. Visit http://aishealth.com/marketplace/health-plan-week for more information.

About Atlantic Information Services
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at http://AISHealth.com.

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Jill Brown, Executive Editor
Atlantic Information Services
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