Cigna Gives $110.9 Million Compensation Package To Ex-CEO

By Sam Stein for Huffington Post

The insurance giant Cigna last year gave compensation packages worth more than $120 million to two executives who left the company, according to a filing with the SEC on Friday.

The vast majority of that total went to former chairman and CEO H. Edward Hanway who left his post with a retirement package worth $110.9 million — which included $18.8 million in executive compensation for 2009, as well as a healthy pension plan, deferred compensation and stock options.

With more than $19 billion in revenues reported in 2008, Cigna remains one of the most profitable insurers in the country. Though, unlike some of its competitors, it does not appear to have raised premiums on customers in an effort to improve somewhat sagging recent profits.

The company is part of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which has lobbied heavily against health care reform. In drumming up opposition, the industry group has warned that reform legislation will adversely affect the market as a whole and Cigna’s bottom line in particular.

Hanway’s retirement package is sure to provide fodder to reform proponents, who insist that too much money and resources are wasted on the excesses of the private insurance industry — often at the expense of consumers.

In addition to Hanway, former Cigna Executive Vice President and CFO Michael Bell received a $10.9 million executive compensation package in 2009. Bell left the company abruptly that year — no reason was given for his departure.

Cigna’s current president and CEO, David M. Cordani, earned a salary of more than $6.5 million in 2009, according to the SEC filing.