Among insurance executives, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has been among the most vocal in warning of “premium rate shock” when major provisions of Obamacare kick in on January 1.
"We've done all the math, we've shared it with all the regulators, we've shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it's a big concern," Bertolini told his company’s big shareholders and Wall Street financial analysts in New York last December.
If Aetna does, in fact, hike premiums by more than 100 percent for some of its customers, as Bertolini suggested at the meeting, no doubt part of that money will go to covering his shockingly lucrative paycheck.
While many Aetna employees were lucky to get two percent raises last year, Bertolini’s compensation nearly quadrupled. That’s right, quadrupled.
Aetna disclosed in a filings last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Bertolini’s total compensation in 2012 was $36.36 million, up from $9.7 million in 2011. If you include the $11.1 million in stock awards he was given that will vest later, his 2012 total jumps $47 million.
Bertolini’s “pay shock” so angered many current and former Aetna workers that several of them posted scathing comments on the Hartford Courant’s website.
“All Aetna employees should be picketing outside the office building in protest of this disgrace,” a former Aetna employee wrote. “What kind of leader gives his employees 2% while his earnings nearly quadruple???? Totally selfish.”
One of the reasons Bertolini mentioned “premium rate shock” to his company’s investors undoubtedly is that Aetna won’t be able to continue selling some of its most profitable health plans next year—the ones that have relatively low premiums but such limited benefits that they’ll actually be banned next year.