The CEOs of Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers received larger compensation increases in 2020 compared with their for-profit counterparts, a recent report found.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota CEO Craig Samitt's 109% year-over-year increase represented the biggest pay bump to $3.3 million in 2020, according to an AIS Health analysis of CEO compensation at the 42 largest insurers by commercial enrollment. A BCBS Minnesota spokesperson noted that Samitt retired in May and declined to comment on his compensation.
Hawaii Medical Service Association CEO Dr. Mark Mugiishi's 89.5% raise to $1.8 million represented the second-largest increase, and Independence Blue Cross's now-retired CEO Dan Hilferty's 73.6% year-over-year bump to $9.9 million represented the third-largest rise in 2020. Independence did not immediately respond to an interview request. Mugiishi was promoted from executive vice president and chief health officer to president and CEO in February 2020, and "the large percentage increase in salary is a reflection of change in position," Christina Hirasa, vice president of communications, wrote in an email.
Across all health insurers, CEOs received an average 7.5% increase in 2020 compared with 2019, according to AIS data. Blues CEOs were generally more likely to receive a raise in 2020, although they still were paid less than the heads of for-profit insurers, the report said. State regulators can scrutinize Blues operations more heavily than their for-profit counterparts, and sometimes their board of directors will limit their CEOs pay to avoid red flags, AIS said. Changes in total compensation at for-profit insurers were generally due to a dip in company stock prices.