Health insurance CEO pay tops out at $17.3M in 2015

Money

Last year was a pivotal one for the country's five largest health insurers, as months of negotiation culminated in the Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna mega-mergers. It also was a good year to be an executive at the "big five" payers, as total compensation rose for four out of five CEOs.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini and Cigna CEO David Cordani for example, both saw their total pay surge to $17.3 million in 2015 after earning $15 million and $14.5 million, respectively, in 2014.

But UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley--the only executive who didn't earn more in 2015 than the year prior--appears to have turned down a raise. "At his request, Mr. Hemsley's total compensation is below the median for CEOs in the company's peer group, even though the board believes his performance has been outstanding," the company's SEC filing states.

Read on for a breakdown of the compensation packages for each of the executives. (The totals do not include the value that could be realized if executives exercise their stock options.) 

Cigna CEO David Cordani: $17.3 million

Cordani's total compensation rose considerably compared to 2014, when he pulled in $14.5 million. His 2015 total includes $1.2 million in base salary, $12.9 million in stock and option awards, $2.9 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $352,952 in other compensation.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini: $17.3 million

Bertolini's base salary in 2015 was $1.03 million, and he earned $14.1 million in stock and option awards, $1.8 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $271,908 in all other compensation. In 2014, Bertolini's overall compensation totaled $15 million--though that figure was down from the $30 million he earned in 2013.

UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley: $14.5 million

Hemsley's total compensation decreased from the $14.9 million he earned in 2014. His 2015 base salary was $1.4 million, and he received $9.4 million in stock and option awards in addition to $3.7 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $145,679 in other compensation.\

How do the Big Five CEOs stack up? Check out 2014's highest health insurance CEO earners

Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish: $13.6 million

Swedish earned a base salary of $1.3 million, in addition to stock and option awards totaling $10.4 million. He also netted $1.7 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $237,896 in all other compensation. Swedish earned $13.5 million in total compensation in 2014.

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard: $10.3 million

Broussard's total compensation has gone up only marginally from 2014, when it was $10.1 million. It includes a base salary of $1.2 million, $8.8 million in stock and option awards, and $331,774 in all other compensation. He did not receive any non-equity incentive plan compensation.

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