Bright Health Group recorded a $1.1 billion net loss in 2021.
The startup's valuation fell $10.6 billion over the course of the year. That was the greatest value loss among publicly traded health insurers in 2021. The company's stock price dove nearly 70%. In December, the company announced a $750 million investment from rival insurer Cigna and venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates to provide a big cash infusion.
Bright Health Group's board of directors rewarded CEO Mike Mikan with a retention bonus of $7 million in restricted stock units the same month, according to a disclosure filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The board cited the company exceeding "revenue, membership, and operational targets" as justification for also giving Mikan a $1.2 million cash bonus, which was 95% of his target for the year. This brought Mikan's total compensation to $180.8 million last year, 32 times what he earned in 2020.
Mikan isn't alone. Across the board, insurtech CEOs were paid more and got bigger raises in 2021 than their counterparts at legacy health insurance companies, despite those startups posting growing losses last year, according to an analysis of SEC filings.
Bright Health Group, Clover Health, Oscar Health and Alignment Healthcare all reported membership growth in 2021. The insurtechs also reported a combined $2.5 billion net loss on revenues of $8.5 billion. Together, they reported losses of $806 million loss on $3.3 billion in revenue in 2020.
"I'm all in favor of pay-for-performance," said Ari Gottlieb, a principal at A2 Strategy Group. "That doesn't sound like pay for good performance. That sounds like pay for bad performance."