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WellPoint CEO received 3-percent raise last year

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The president and CEO of health insurer WellPoint Inc. received a 3-percent boost in total compensation in 2010 even as the company's profit and enrollment numbers slipped during a transitional year for U.S. health care companies.

The Indianapolis-based insurer awarded Angela Braly a total pay package worth $13.4 million, up from $13.1 million in 2009. Wellpoint disclosed the compensation — which includes salary, bonus and other awards — in a filing with federal financial regulators late Friday.

The insurer's profit fell sharply last year compared with 2009, when the sale of its NextRx subsidiary contributed $2.2 billion in after-tax income. Medical enrollment also slid 1 percent last year, to 33.3 million members.

In the company's filing, Wellpoint's board of directors highlighted accomplishments by management, including reducing general expenses by 3 percent. Directors also pointed out that Braly and other executives have not received a raise to their base salary since 2008.

Braly's annual salary was flat at $1.1 million, though her performance bonus increased more than 80 percent, to $2.7 million.

The bulk of her compensation came in the form of stock awards and options, both of which declined from 2009. Braly received $5.4 million in awards and $3.6 million in options, down 13 percent and 10 percent from 2009, respectively.

A Wellpoint spokeswoman stressed Friday that the company's pay formula rewards executives for improving enrollee health, boosting share prices and meeting other pre-set goals.

"For the CEO, almost 90 percent of total target compensation is based on company performance and is tied to meeting established goals," Kristin Binns said in a statement.

Braly also received more than $591,000 in various "other compensation," including over $281,000 for personal security. Those funds paid for ramped-up security measures, "including personal security during travel, a security-enhanced vehicle and in-home security," according to the company filing.

Braly and the company she heads became a focal point for criticism during the health care overhaul last year, after complaints spread about plans to increase premiums by around 25 percent for individual insurance policies sold by the insurer's Anthem Blue Cross subsidiary in California.

The company later backed off that rate hike.

Shares of WellPoint and other insurers tumbled at the start of 2010, after Congress passed the health care overhaul, which aims to cover millions of uninsured people but will impose a host of taxes and restrictions on insurers. However, the sector's stocks have mostly climbed since last summer, as the overhaul started to unfold and investors saw minimal impact from the first few provisions.

WellPoint's shares slid 2 percent overall, to close 2010 at $56.86 per share. That compares with a 12.8-percent increase recorded by the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Health care use that slowed more than insurers anticipated helped the managed care sector last year. The flu season was mild, especially compared to the final months of 2009, when the swine flu scare hit. Those factors helped WellPoint and other big insurers beat analyst expectations and store cash over the final months of 2010.

Braly has served as CEO of WellPoint since 2007 and replaced Larry Glasscock as chair last March.

Indianapolis-based WellPoint is the largest publicly traded health insurer based on membership. It operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states and Unicare plans in several others.

The Associated Press executive compensation formula is designed to isolate the value the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, making the AP total different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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  • Braly-Durham Similarities
    Try listing the similiarities between Braly and Durham ( Facing Fraud Indictment)
  • Criminals, all of them
    Wonder why Ms. Braly needs so much security? And expensive security at that. Could it be because she and WellPoint know that she is/they are completely screwing citizens by raising premiums, lowering coverage, denying coverage, and perhaps someone who was denied thier bi-polar or anger medication may go after her? Ms. Braly and WellPoint, you are criminals who should be ashamed of yourselves.
  • Fair Pay
    I don't see what the fuss is about. She's only making $6,300/hour. Or $50,400/day. That seems fair to me. Why shouldn't an average, unremarkable CEO make as much as 126 carpenters make in a day? C'mon folks.
  • Don't they get it?
    Every time an article like this one is published, I wonder whether anyone at WellPoint reads the comments that follow. It's as if they have no idea -- more likely, don't care -- how angry people are with WellPoint's excessive compensation. Is anyone satisfied with the benefits/ premiums of their Anthem or Blue Cross Blue Shield policies? Seems unlikely.
  • What company?
    To "Disgusted": Who did you switch to? Our plan in awful!
  • Drop Anthem
    The reason Anthem/Wellpoint's profits are down is companies are dropping them. Our small company of 12 employees saved $69,000 a year when we switched companies with no change in benefits. I haven't had a raise in 5 years. She should not only refuse a raise, but she should give TONS of what she has to charities who take care of poor people.
    • HA HA HA
      As an employee of WellPoint, I did not see such an increase in my pay. There is no reason for her to be paid such an outrageous amount and those that are on the frontline get paid peanuts!! Way to go WellPoint!!
    • Dropping insurance
      Because of this new pay raise for Ms. Braly, which seemingly has prompted Anthem Blue Cross to raise our private health insurance policy more than 25% for 2011 (and I am sure that of others by the same amount)I will be formally writing Ms. Braly and the President of the Board of Directors to let them know that we are canceling our Anthem Health Insurance and going with another company that is offering better/lowers rates for the same coverage. The executive salaries at Wellpoint are obscene, and no wonder Ms. Braly has said most recently, that the increases in overhead are causing the increase in Health Insurance policies. We Ms. Braly, I do not intend to further your excessive salary nor your little perks with my hard earned money for insurance that increases without providing additional benefits.
    • Non-profit
      According to gov't tax law, all insurance companies are not-for-profit organizations. But the CEO got a $3M raise based off of profits (share prices/company performance)?If you can give your CEO $13M (what on earth does she do that is worth $13M) you are not "not for profit".
    • why the surprise?
      If the people you elected cant or wont come up with a comprehensive national energy policy they sure as hell wont do anything about skyrocketing healthcare.Start with campaign finance reform,term limits and doing away with
      lobbyists King George>
    • Reward for Exploitating The Middle Class
      I can only say this is disgusting. After the double talk the c.e.o. gave congress , the company revels in exploiting its members in relentless pursuit of profits, and claims to be a "socially responsible" company. Its actions such as irresponsible rate hikes, denial of coverage , and now granting a raise in the base salary of the c.e.o. is immoral....shame on you !
      • Blame it on Jackson Hole Group (and unchecked greed)
        "In the company's filing, Wellpoint's board of directors highlighted accomplishments by management, including reducing general expenses by 3 percent."
        Translation: denying coverage and/or medical care to potential customers/existing customers (i.e., screwing over the people Wellpoint claims to assist).
        Why again do Americans need a middleman to receive heath care?
      • Profits
        This is the definition of capitalism now in the US; maximize profit without concern for the society. While some fear "an interest in society's needs as 'socialism' we have now reached the point that nothing that includes respect and concern for 'society' - the average citizen and their needs - is anything that the 'true American patriot' could accept. Since the founding of this country we have tried to blend the benefits of both philosophies to retain our individual freedoms and drive for success with an understanding and compassion for those 'less successful'. WellPoint is not interested in helping the American family or individuals; they are only interested in maximizing their profits. How do we as a compassioniate society design a system that will allow profits without hurting the family? We have not been able to reach that goal in recent years and it seems that our state and national governments are only interested in helping corporations make more and bigger profits.
      • Typical CEO mess
        The rich grow richer in the USA while the average American does worse. CEOs are over the top now of just performance. They refuse to spread the wealth around. Instead, they just send jobs overseas, screw over Americans with rate hikes and job losses, and then buy their mansions and vacation homes. It's going to end soon. People are going to soon get tired of this mess. We are taking steps backward in this country. It won't be pretty.
      • OVERPAID
        I don't care who they are noone deserves a million dollars for doing a job.They could lower the insurers rates.They are some greedy people.I'll make sure I never do business with them.

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      1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

      2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

      3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

      4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

      5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).

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