Even “non-profit” private insurance companies waste patients’ premiums

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The Boston Globe reported on Friday that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts hiked its CEO’s salary to $3.5 million (plus unreported bonuses that probably made it closer to $4.5 million), even as consumers were required to pay more for their Blue Cross health plans under Massachusetts’ mandatory health insurance law.

The salary and bonus paid to Cleve L. Killingsworth, chairman and chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, increased 26 percent last year, to $3.5 million, even though the health insurer’s membership declined and its net income fell 49 percent.  

Based on previous years’ retirement benefits – which Blue Cross-Blue Shield did not report for 2008 – Killingsworth’s total pay package was likely about $4.3 million, making him by far the highest paid healthcare executive in Massachusetts.

The fact that even the supposed nonprofits are paying exorbitant salaries to health care executives is more evidence that private health insurers will never hold down overhead costs the way a public plan like Medicare can.

Consumer Watchdog
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