MD cuts health plan exec's $18M severance payout

The Maryland state insurance commissioner's office has ruled that the $18 million payout promised to a departing health plan CEO should be cut in half, ruling that the severance deal was inappropriate. Health plan CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which has 3 million members in the metro D.C. area, is headquartered in Owings Mills, Md.

Under the ruling, former CEO William Jews will still get $9 million, including $2.2 million he's already been paid. Jews, who was CareFirst's CEO from 1993 to 2006, was forced out of the company. The severance deal was part of the terms of his departure. In his statement regarding the severance cut, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Tyler criticized Jews' performance, which seems to have figured in the state's decision. "The company, under Mr. Jews' leadership, strayed significantly from its nonprofit mission," Tyler said.

CareFirst, which tried to convert to for-profit status in 2002, has come under withering criticism for amassing large surpluses. It's also gone head to head with the D.C. government over the extent--or lack thereof--of its charitable activities.

To learn more about the CareFirst decision:
- read this AMNews article

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