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After disagreement, Lewis leaves WellPoint with $3.2M

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Dijuana Lewis will get nearly $3.2 million on her way out the door at WellPoint Inc. after striking an unusual—even bizarre—deal with the company to be dismissed from her duties but stay on for the next two months to help her successor.

Lewis, 51, had been running Indianapolis-based WellPoint’s comprehensive health business solutions unit, which in various ways supported WellPoint’s commercial and consumer lines of health insurance.

But CEO Angela Braly shifted some of Lewis’ duties overseeing operations this month to Lori Beer, who was promoted from chief information officer to run a new unit called Enterprise Business Solutions. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Lewis objected to the change and made her feelings known to Braly.

On Oct. 19—11 days after the announcement about Beer—Lewis was “terminated without cause,” according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Sources said the decision was mutual.

Lewis was WellPoint’s fourth highest-paid executive, earning a salary in 2009 of $650,000 and a bonus of $200,000 for overseeing WellPoint’s sale of its pharmacy benefit management unit, NextRx. With stock and perks, her total compensation last year was $4.4 million.

Her duties, which included WellPoint’s contracting with doctors and hospitals, will be handled temporarily by Dr. Sam Nussbaum, WellPoint’s chief medical officer.

Lewis' severance package, as detailed in WellPoint securities filings, is nearly all in cash, but also includes continuation of health insurance and "executive benefits," as well as outplacement help.

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  • To ???
    You say "For the government to mandate that i have to engage in a contract with a company like this is A PROBLEM" Fortunately, govt is not saying that.
    Right now, your employer may be stating you need to deal with Anthem. You dont have a choice. That is a problem. They pick cheapest insurance premium whether good service or not.

    Once exchanges come around, the govt is just saying get insurance. you might decide to pick Aetna, or Humana or even a local insurance plan. Your employer may still offer insurance, but many will be able to have insurance companies compete.
  • Another Sane Person Gone from Anthem
    For those of us who know Dijuana this is a big loss. You'll never meet a nicer or classier person. I haven't dealt with Angela since she was General Counsel but even then she did not like for folks to disagree with her publicly or privately. For GC that's OK but when your CEO I believe biggest leadership asset is an ability to listen to disenting voices. She tunes them out.

    Why she was eve elevated to CEO beats me. Her only business experience was CEO for BCBS of MO (not exactly a high performer). Othersie just leagl background. Give ius the good ole days when Larry G. was still CEO.
  • Look what costs insurance coverage
    ...and they want to tell us that insurance coverage must go up to pay high costs of doctors, hopitals, etc. Well we know the truth, it is their own salaries. Feel sorry for Welpoint? Not me, But I am sure the GOP will jump in and make sure that taxpayers and those with insurance will step in and double their "losses"
  • Good Deal?
    Could you explain a little more what you are saying? I'm interested but I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Thanks
  • good deal
    This does seem like a great deal for anyone. I just do not know how to feel about it. Hard work, high stress, right place right time, with a little luck and bam you got the job. I envy these people to a point, to blame them for their successes and my problems is not justified.

    For the government to mandate that i have to engage in a contract with a company like this is A PROBLEM. Let us re-evaluate how much paperwork and red tape these companies have to go through, that has been brought on because a legislature thought that it was a good idea. Probably why they charge so much, because it is foolishly/needlessly complicated.
    When you run a large company you deserve a fair compensation. For the rest of us that will never see one million let alone 3.2 in one year, and have to take 25% of our income to support that company because the federal govermnet forces us to, is not deserved.
    • WOW I THOUGHT ANTHEM WAS HARD UP FOR CASH
      I cancelled my Anthem coverage 5 weeks ago (moving into 6 weeks now). I paid it in 6 month installments. Thus I was paid ahead when I cancelled. Is it difficult to process a cancellation of coverage check?

      That company should have stayed as a mutual insurance company and not publically traded which ended up overpaying people such as Lewis... I will bet that she has not waited 6 weeks on a check.

      Scum Bags!!

      I guess I will turn them into one of Mitch's corrupt State Org - Dept of Insurance to see if they can help me get my return premium.
    • It's disgusting
      We are in a natural healthcare crisis? hmmmmm wonder why. My sister and brother in law don't have healthcare coverage. They pay Wellpoint privately for a family plan and it's approximately 1500 or so a month. My husband and I, in good health pay, through his employer, $500.00 a month. I'm currently unemployed. Been a little touch. A large portion of my brother in laws paycheck goes towards their insurance premium to Wellpoint. They try to say it's needed or necessary blah blah blah....

      Who do these people think they are even to make that kind of salary? Would they be Gods or Goddesses? Are they superhuman? Perhaps deserving or somehow very special?

      I was let go as a reduction in force from a company. I got 2 weeks severence. I just heard of a person who was let go (laid off) from a company that was having hardships and got a month's severence. For a company to give something like that out, to pay these people this kind of money, to take premiums from people causing such hardship and pain, is disgusting. It's the only word I can think of.

      Truth is WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. So as Wellpoint continues to take those premiums, deny families medical care, people suffer and in many cases die as a result of their greed, etc etc etc.... with every check they issue, with every check they cash
      WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.
    • Expensive cat fight Ladies
      Wow if Angela could keep her girl friends from fighting, and taking all that cash. Maybe our premiums will go down. Angela can you be the next babe to step down. You need to. Obama will love this one.
    • Working Stiffs
      Another poor working stiff shafted by the sytem. Only $3.2M severence? That's only enough for about 6 months of subsistence (@ $500K/month). Will she get any food stamps? Is she elidgible for unemployment?

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