Payouts for insurer CEOs keep growing

The chief executives of the 11 largest for-profit insurers earned more than $125 million in total compensation packages. And if insurers' stocks continue rising at their current rate, the CEOs will likely receive even bigger paydays this year, according to a commentary written for the Center for Public Integrity.

Of the 11 insurers--Aetna, Centene, Cigna, Health Net, Humana, Molina, Triple-S Management Corporation, UnitedHealth, Universal American, WellCare and WellPoint--Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini earned the most, taking home $30.7 million in 2013--an increase of 131 percent from the year before, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Molina's Mario Molina earned a 140 percent raise as his compensation rose from $4.95 million in 2012 to $11.9 million in 2013. And Centene CEO Micheal Neidorff took home $14.5 million last year, up 71 percent from the previous year.

Former Cigna exec Wendell Potter writes in the commentary that regulators, lawmakers and even members of the media should examine whether these high payouts are justified, especially if the insurers propose large rate hikes for 2015.

What's more, almost all of the 11 insurers saw their revenue and profits rise last year, and several are predicting that they'll likely bring in higher-than-expected profits this year. Those outlooks come amid a rise in medical claims as more consumers bought coverage from the health insurance exchanges.

Share prices are rising as well. Humana has seen the largest gains as its share price has grown more than 53 percent since last year. Meanwhile, Aetna's share price rose 31 percent, Cigna's increased 32 percent, UnitedHealth's is up 28 percent and WellPoint's has risen 39 percent.

To learn more:
- read the Center for Public Integrity commentary