UnitedHealth - Stephen Hemsley

CEO payouts at 8 largest health insurers

By Dina Overland

Stephen Hemsley - UnitedHealth

Total Revenue: $110.6 billion

Total Compensation: $13.8 million

Details: Stephen Hemsley is using a wait-and-see approach to lead the nation's largest health insurer into the post-reform era. As many insurers plunge headfirst into the health insurance exchanges, UnitedHealth has taken a decidedly cautious strategy because Hemsley fears new members will be more costly. In fact, UnitedHealth is participating in far fewer online marketplaces than most of its competitors.

UnitedHealth also is following through on its predictions that Medicare Advantage plans need cuts to survive reform-mandated federal payment reductions. In October, UnitedHealth cut about 19 percent of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network in Connecticut--a move that could lead to a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Compensation: Hemsley, who has served as president and CEO of UnitedHealth since 2006, is the eighth highest paid chief executive in the country, behind company leaders at McKesson, Ralph Lauren, Express Scripts and Priceline.com, according to Forbes. Hemsley earned $1.3 million in base pay in 2012, a figure that has remained steady since he took the CEO position, and $7 million in stock awards. Plus, he received $5.3 million in non-equity incentives and almost $300,000 in other compensation.

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