May 23, 2022
Health Insurance CEOs Raked in Record Compensation Last Year
The CEOs of America’s seven largest publicly traded health insurance and services companies together earned more than $283 million in 2021 — the most of any year in the past decade by far.
Soaring stock prices made up the bulk of the executives’ fortunes, according to a Stat analysis of disclosures from UnitedHealth Group, CVS Health, Anthem, Cigna, Humana, Centene, and Molina Healthcare from 2012-2021.
Higher profits drove the companies’ stocks. With the coronavirus pandemic leading people to delay some of the care they would have otherwise sought, insurers retained premiums that would have been paid out as medical claims. Years of large acquisitions have also paid off as health insurance companies became conglomerates encompassing lucrative drug benefits middlemen, physician groups, pharmacies, and other services.
Cigna CEO David Cordani took home more than $91 million in 2021 and has received more than $365 million since 2012, the most of the seven executives over the last ten years.
“The pandemic could have allowed insurers to do more to keep their prices in check,” said President Roach. “Instead, workers, taxpayers and employers have continued to watch health care premiums soar. Insurers have an incentive to let spending and premiums keep growing, because that increases their share of the profits.”