$102 Million Payout To United Healthcare CEO Draws Outrage

April 29, 2010
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Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today expressed outrage over reports that United Healthcare paid its CEO $102 million in compensation last year and called on the state Department of Insurance to consider executive pay in future company rate cases.

United Healthcare recently acquired Health Net.

“I was shocked to learn that United Healthcare, the company that just acquired the membership renewal rights of Health Net customers in Connecticut, paid its CEO, Stephen Hemsley, $102 million in total compensation for 2009,” Blumenthal said in a letter to the Insurance Commissioner. “The company also reported that its first quarter profit for 2010 rose 21 percent to $1.2 billion. This news is especially troubling in light of the Insurance Department’s recent approval of a 19% rate increase for Health Net group plans sold through Connecticut employers for 2010 (which followed approval of a similar 13 percent rate increase for 2009).

“These double-digit rate increases imposed on Connecticut Health Net consumers are staggering — and stupefying in light of the lavish sums paid to its new CEO. In this economic climate, consumers should not be subject to soaring health insurance rate increases while insurance companies and their executives continue to reap outrageously surging profits. I urge you to strongly consider United Healthcare’s profits and its generous CEO pay package when reviewing any future rate increase requests filed by United Healthcare.”

Blumenthal reiterated his concern that the commission approved 26 of 26 rate increase requests since 2006 and urged it to strengthen its standards by requiring rates be reviewed for “reasonableness” instead of the current “excessiveness.” He noted that the recently passed federal healthcare reform law requires insurers to spend at least 85 percent of premiums on care, a figure that is now often below 80 percent.

Blumenthal said that the a recent report, “Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services named Connecticut as a state where health insurers have been requesting unjustified premium increases.

“Whether they are insured through an individual plan or a group plan like those offered by Health Net — now United Healthcare — premium increases are becoming unaffordable for Connecticut consumers,” Blumenthal said. “Our rate increase process fails to consider consumers’ ability to pay and company profitability — allowing insurance companies to blame every increase on rising medical costs. This system is broken and must be fixed.”

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21 Responses to $102 Million Payout To United Healthcare CEO Draws Outrage

  1. Gabed on September 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Many American corporations have gone berserk, then wondering why this country is in such a shape. Many have exported our jobs mostly to China and India, and on top of this tragedy they take us to the cleaners!!!!!!

    What is the future of this country?
    Can anyone answer it (intelligently?).

    • kate.elaine1@gmail.com on August 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      This type of compensation is not only disgusting its a testimony of the dysfunctional state of Medicine. I am a physician still struggling to pay off my 350,000 dollars of medical school loans. It takes roughly 13 years of sweat, toil and expertise to attain a medical degree and truly save lives. Physcians are prisoners to the machine of greedy, health care executives that care nothing about patients. They seek to minimize cost by restricting care to afford more money in there pocket.

      • Daniel DeBold on August 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        I support raises for health care providers but I am outraged by the CEO’s salary of health insurance companies. I am a psychotherapist who hasn’t seem more than a 3% raise in my salary in the past three years. This is beyond unethical. I’m sure his lawyers and the lawyers of these big insurance companies have figured out how to make them rich. If you have any ideas on how to stop this please let me know. I have already notified my representatives in Washington but I have doubts that it will doing any good. I certainly will not do business with United Health Care.

  2. Jim B on November 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Just notified of a 45% increase in premium costs from United Healtcare.

    This is insane!!

  3. Bob Trotta on November 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    NOW Blumenthal is “concerned” about the rising health care premiums? What was he doing when the CT Insurance Dept. was OKAYING these rate increases left and right! Between them and the then DPUC, all they EVER did was say YES to everything that came before them! Their excuse- not enough actuaries to check everything- SO, just say YES! With United Healthcare’s connection with AARP, the $$$$$ keep rolling in. I don’t know who is making more money- United Healthcare or AARP?

    Things are getting worse by the day here and in Washington!

  4. Guest on February 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I’m incensed by this news – and have been for quite a while. My company offers employees UHC. I have their PPO plan. Why…when I’m paying close to $500/mo (employee cost) do I have to deal with nasty customer service reps disconnecting calls, etc., when I try to get answers from UHC. I hope congress looks into this very closely. …but I’m not too confident anymore with our government/leaders. It’s truly about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Very very bad when 1 CEO makes over 100 mil a year. Sad day in America when this happens…and it happens in quite a few companies.

  5. Alvin K Eng, MD on February 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I’m glad I’m now retired, but this makes me very angry when I continually see these insurance companies SUCK all the money from both ends; the patients AND the physicians! What service do they even provide? For the past several years, our office health plan cost for our employees just kept on rising, making even less affordable for us to cover our employees and their families well, while on the other hand, payments for our physician services kept falling! They take more money in the premiums and then pay out LESS for the Services! Then you throw in their denial of services that the physician thinks is necessary for care!

  6. Merry R. O'Hare on February 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Chopra is right. We live in a Kleptocracy! How can
    an honest legislature let this happen while people that
    live on a minimum social security income of $800 a month have had their insurance go from $120 to $160 a month. Do we need a class action lawsuit??? Are there any honest lawyers out there that would take this on??

  7. Patricia on March 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I too am wondering about the sad state of affairs. I have UHC, which I pay plenty for health coverage, but when I have used it – get nothing but “lip service” for daring to use what I’m paying for. Why? To keep the fat a??holes in their ivory towers fatter…at least the *ucking wallets! They didn’t cover an E/R visit when I was extremely ill, they didn’t cover for radiology services needed and their rude, unhelpful services reps suck at helping their customers who are paying their miserable salaries. The entire health care system is riddled with fraud, thieves and liars…all out to get their hands on your hard-earned dollars however and whenever they can. It’s way pass time for reform and controls on how much CEO’s are allowed to earn while raping their customers over hot coals and laughing their butts off as they deposit our dollars meant to care for our healthcare needs. The lousy sobs should be thrown in jail for their thievery. Until mass amounts of consumers in the US of A gets off their butts to raise the roof, things will remain the same or worst continue to grow worst as foreign soils laugh at the stupidity of Americans, so unwilling to take a stand, by even bothering to vote for a different candidate to start a process of stopping the insanity. We are all affected by apathy to taking a stand and making a difference for the good of the people, by the people and for the people.

    • Claude Arfaras on October 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      UHC sent me a letter back in June telling me about my $100 eyeglasses benefit credit! Since it had been a few months, I called to verify my ‘credit’. Of course it is still active just go and pick out your eyeglasses! Five days and hours upon hours of telephone and UHC musical chairs later, now you pay and send us the bill! Wink wink…. Well guess what? I found the original letter and boy how things change when you actually want the benefit offered! Now UHC seems to have telephone problems! When I call once the person at UHC has heard enough to know the reason for my call click I an mysteriously disconnected! CEO pay on the backs of poor people like me is a disgrace. They offer a benefit and then do everything possible to make it unobtainable. There’s a special place in after life for the CEO’s at the trough! Can’t wait for the revolution.

  8. Dale Foster on April 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

    As a country we tend to reward bad behavior. In Md Roscoe Barlett was bought by the health care insurance industry his first time out- we’re still stuck with him 20 years later. He has taxpayer provided helath care- the best. The insurance industry spends billions to buy elected officials. But won’t pay for soooo many things for health. People clean house in the House of Rep. this year,

    I have UHC- they lie, cheat and steal- don’t ask to speak with a person in charge you could be dead by the time they get back to you. IF you can get a phone number.

    Send post cards to your elected officals- cost less, they don’t need a return address and they can’t say your hiding stuff on a post card. A 4×6 index card works and it’s cheap. GET off you bums people.

  9. Anita Walker on August 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I have been a healthcare executive for over 27 years helping patients and their families through the healthcare system. United is one of the biggest abusers of our system by denying needed care to patients, denying claims, etc.,

    This is how the CEO received $102 million – he set up a system whereby premiums paid by hard working citizens are not used to pay claims and are not used to authorize treatment. Instead, they pay his compensation.

    Once again, socialized healthcare is the only answer to the problem in America. We already have the “haves” and “have-nots”. When will America wake up and realize this?

  10. Gary Gonzales on October 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    When is enough enough – it is time for the middle class to take this country over again. The low to middle income people are bearing the brunt of the corporate greed now. It is so sick to note the salaries of the company’s upper management while the employees get crap. It is time for a revolution. You can see it coming and I hope the low and middle class people take over. The fat cats in companies and government need to go now. WE have become a country of greed.

  11. Brian on February 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

    This is the same company that has refused to issue me
    an ID card, in effect denying me access to health care.
    Impossible to talk to anyone there – that should give
    you a clue when you hold for 45 min and still cant’t
    talk to anyone – as if that would help! They have no
    problem in raking in the premiums though!

  12. Roy on March 26, 2013 at 12:35 am

    I also see another too big to fail situation developing with hospitals and insurance companies using their millions in profits to acquire other health related businesses.

  13. Roy on April 17, 2013 at 1:21 am

    When people pay outrageous health insurance premiums they are not purchasing other goods and services. While the fat cat CEO’s in health insurance industries rake in the millions the goods and services industries get far fewer dollars. How long is this imbalance going to last before the bottom falls out of our economy?

  14. Bill Montgomery on May 16, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Just received another benefit/member(what a joke) card from UHC,first one in the third week of April, second one around two weeks later. The card received in April stated deductibles at $2500 ind. & $7500 family. In may, the new card had raised the plan deductible to $5000 ind. & 15000 family + raised ER visit from $300 to $500. No explanation, cant get an answer on the phone. There attitude is “just shut the f*** up and pay” And they will get away with the increases they charge you, and will pay out less as obama care goes into effect. Because that is the law of the land by the corporation, for the corporation. Forget liberty and justice and the rest of that independence crap, that has been tossed out the window in favor of profit for the 1%.

  15. Ms Ann on June 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    United Healthcare during this timeframe implemented a number of policies and procedures to not pay the writing agent commissions on issued Medicare Advantage policies. They utilize any and all means possible to not pay the agent commissions. Unfortunate for the agent is a system which will not monitor or bring action against the company’s shady dealings—Insurance Commissioners are hands off—Labor Board doesn’t not consider us as independent contractors (we’re business associates)—lawyers won’t consider your case either. So as the president earnings spiral out of control we have no recourse for payment. Patients and providers can get justice through their state insurance commissioner’s office but nothing for the agent that secured the account.

  16. Jim Batton on November 13, 2013 at 7:41 am

    This is one of the many examples of why we have to have healthcare reform. I am a retired multiline insurance agent and I chose to never right an individual health insurance policy becsuse it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. You get sick and start filing claims and you get canceled for some trumped-up reason. In some countries the ceo with over a hundred million in compensation would be an “enemy of the people” and shot.

  17. John Downer on November 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    UHC will take a fall at some point. Their karma is about to catch up with them.

  18. M Brown on January 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Can anyone tell me the name and contact number of the CEO of UnitedHealthcare? I want to contact him/her due to the completely terrible lack of service I have received; I want to ask for compensation for my hours spent on the phone and travel.

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