Health Insurance Startup CEOs’ Sky-High Compensation Figures Are Deceiving

  • Dec 02, 2022

    In AIS Health’s annual roundup of health insurer executive compensation data, four newly public startup insurers stand out because their CEOs’ total compensation in 2021 easily outstrips that of chief executives at major firms like UnitedHealth Group and Cigna Corp. However, experts tell AIS Health that the startups’ filings with federal regulators paint an unintentionally deceiving picture, as the CEOs of those not-yet-profitable firms are highly unlikely to collect hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of stock awards listed there. 

    “They’re never going to realize, in one year, that much compensation,” says Ari Gottlieb, a principal at A2 Strategy Group who has been closely tracking the performance of the four startup insurers that went public in 2021: Alignment Healthcare, Inc., Bright Health Group, Inc., Clover Health Investments Corp. and Oscar Health, Inc.  

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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