Average pay for insurer CEOs jumped to $14M

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Some of the Affordable Care Act's biggest winners have been chief executives at insurance companies who have seen their salaries and benefits skyrocket since the law passed.

The average pay for Fortune 500 health insurance CEOs grew from $11.6 million in 2012 to $13.9 million in 2013. And for the top nine insurers, CEOs saw their average compensation packages increase by more than 19 percent last year, while other insurers more than doubled their CEO pay, according to Healthcare-Now.

"The culture of excess at these for-profit corporations is incompatible with the goals of an efficient, ethical healthcare system, where every dollar diverted from patient care represents a loss of access for real families," said Benjamin Day, director of Organizing at Healthcare-Now, a nonprofit group that advocates for a single-payer system.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini was the clear winner last year, receiving $30.7 million in total compensation. That's a 131 percent increase from his $13.3 million package in 2012.

Molina Healthcare and Centene roughly doubled the compensation for their CEOs in 2013. J. Mario Molina took home $11.9 million, an increase from $5 million in 2012, and Centene's CEO Michael Neidorff earned $14.5 million, up from $8.5 million.

Cigna CEO David Cordani, meanwhile, took home $17.76 million in 2013--more than quadruple what he earned in 2012, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Many of the high payouts to insurer CEOs aligned with announcements of better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter of 2014. WellPoint, for example, paid its CEO Joseph Swedish almost $17 million during his first year on the job. A WellPoint spokeswoman said more than 80 percent of executive officer compensation derives from company performance, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the Healthcare-Now article

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