WellPoint Health Networks, Thousand Oaks, Calif., disclosed that it plans to give 293 executives a total of $147 million to $356 million in cash bonuses and severance payments, depending on how many stay or leave after the company completes its $16 billion merger with Anthem, Indianapolis. The executives also hold $251 million worth of stock options, which would vest immediately if they were terminated as a result of the merger, according to a once-confidential document WellPoint released at the request of California regulators. News of the planned bonuses and severance payments angered consumer and physician groups. WellPoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Schaeffer, who will retire as CEO after the merger, is set to leave the company with $76 million in severance and retirement pay and $184 million in stock and options. The California Department of Managed Health Care, which must approve the merger, is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the deal today. -- by Laura B. Benko
Post-merger, WellPoint execs would get millions
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