Ron Williams - Aetna
Total Compensation: $24,300,112
Details: Williams earned $24,300,112 in total compensation for 2008, with more than half of that ($13,537,365) coming from option awards. He also received an additional $6,456,630 in stock awards to go along with his base salary of $1,091,764.
Personal use of a corporate aircraft and vehicle, as well as financial planning and 401(k) company matches added up to $101,487 for Williams.
H. Edward Hanway - CIGNA
Total Compensation: $12,236,740
Details: Hanway took a significant pay cut from 2007 to 2008, due mainly to a drop off of more than $11 million in his non-equity incentive plan compensation. Still, his base salary of $1,142,885 surpasses that of Aetna's Williams, and is supplemented by just over $3.6 million in option awards, and just over $820,000 in non-qualified deferred compensation earnings.
Also, nearly $21,800 in "other compensation" included the use of a company car with a driver, in-office meals, and emergency assistance services relating to medical exams.
Angela Braly - WellPoint
Total Compensation: $9,844,212
Details: Braly, like Williams, earned more money in 2008 ($9,844,212) than in 2007 (9,094,271), increasing her option rewards by nearly $1.5 million, and also receiving a $200,000-plus bump in base salary, from $922,269 to $1,135,538. Braly's stock awards dropped from $2,160,159 to $1,750,015 because, according to the SEC, "performance-based restricted stock units awarded in 2008 were cancelled because our ROE target for 2008 was not met."
Braly's "other compensation" comprised use of a private jet for her and her family on business trips, just under $10,000 for legal services relating to her employment agreement and cash credits.
Dale Wolf - Coventry Health Care
Total Compensation: $9,047,469
Details: Wolf is the only CEO on this list who is no longer employed with his associated health plan; he retired from his position on Jan. 30 of this year after serving in that role since Jan. 1, 2005, and was replaced by former CEO Allen Wise.
Wolf, whose total compensation dipped quite a bit from 2007 ($14,869,823) to 2008 ($9,047,469), was pleased with the direction the company was headed in at the time of his departure.
"I am proud of what a talented group of people have accomplished over the past 13 years of my association with the company," Wolf said, "and I am confident that the fundamentals which are in place today will carry the company forward to continued success."
Wolf carried a base salary of $965,000 in 2008, and earned just over $1.9 million in stock awards. His "other compensation," which amounted to $486,447, included transportation on the company's airplane, a company match retirement savings plan and a company match 401(k) plan.
Michael Neidorff - Centene
Total Compensation: $8,774,483
Details: Neidorff, who's base salary remained at $1 million, received increases in both his bonus ($1.25 million, up from $1 million) and his stock awards ($4.7 million, from $3.98 million) in 2008. According to the SEC, "Neidorff's agreement was amended twice in the past twelve months; (1) to eliminate the non-compete and non-solicitation requirements if there was a 'hostile change in control' as defined in his agreement and (2) to add language to the agreement to make it compliant with Internal Revenue Section 409A."
Neidorff's "other compensation" of just over $418,000 comprised of use of the company airplane "for all travel," life insurance benefits, security services, and tax preparation services, among other things.
James Carlson - AMERIGROUP
Total Compensation: $5,292,546
Details: Despite a lawsuit regarding Medicaid fraud that cost the Illinois plan $225 million, Carlson himself earned roughly $2 million more than he did in 2007. All aspects of his compensation increased in 2008, from his base salary (up from $608,000 to just over $761,000) to his non-equity incentive plan compensation (up to about $2.8 million from $1.98 million a year ago). Carlson's bonus also grew quite a bit, going from $225,000 in 2007 to $520,312 in 2008; much of that amount was based on long term incentive program goals being met.
Carlson's "other compensation," which nearly tripled (going from about $7,000 to just over $20,000), included his employer 401(k) contribution, life insurance premiums, an executive health screening, flight services and a medical insurance stipend.
Michael McCallister - Humana
Total Compensation: $4,764,309
Details: Despite its pick ups of two smaller health plans (OSF Health Plans of Peoria, IL and Cos/Cariten Healthcare of Knoxville, TN), Humana's McCallister earned roughly $5.5 million less in 2008 than in 2007. While his base salary ($1,017,308), option awards ($3,078,897) and "other compensation" ($668,104) all increased, his non-equity incentive plan compensation and his nonqualified deferred compensation earnings totaled zero dollars. The latter represents a discontinuation of the Officers' Target Retirement Plan, according to the SEC.
McCallister's "other compensation" included personal use of the company aircraft for him, and sometimes his family; company contributions to the Supplemental Executive Retirement & Savings Plan and the Humana Retirement & Savings Plan; a once-a-year physical, financial planning assistance, and more.
Jay Gellert - Health Net
Total Compensation: $4,425,355
Details: Gellert, whose company is considering selling off divisions in at least four states, earned nearly $740,000 in additional compensation for 2008. His overall base salary increased to a little more than $1.2 million from about $1.18 million in 2007, and his stock awards also rose (from about $1.4 million to more than $1.8 million).
Gellert's "other compensation," which totaled $131,526, included, but were not limited to, a $53,000 housing allowance, a corporate car and tax reimbursements of nearly $41,000.
Richard Barasch - Universal American
Total Compensation: $3,503,702
Details: After taking a pay cut from 2006 to 2007, Barasch more than doubled his total compensation for 2008, jumping up from $1,564,293 in 2007. Barasch's base salary jumped up to $857,851 from $798,340 in 2007; his stock and option awards also increased, as did his "other compensation," which reflected a car allowance, relocation benefits and a matching contribution to his 401(k).
Also of note for Barasch was the fact that his non-equity incentive plan compensation earnings totaled $1,195,147; in 2007, he did not receive any money in 2007 for such compensation, but took home $1.1 million in 2006.