N.J. regulators back disclosure of health insurers’ executive pay

Over protests from health insurers, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has decided that executive compensation at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and Independence Health Group, which operates through AmeriHealth New Jersey, is public information and must be disclosed.

Insurers’ “assertions of proprietary interests” regarding executive pay “are at times tenuous and ultimately outweighed by the public’s interest in such information,” the insurance department said in a bulletin last month, notifying insurers that it would return to its long-standing position that executive pay is public.

“Insurance consumers have an interest in understanding how the executives of their insurers are being compensated,” said the March 16 bulletin, signed by acting banking and insurance commissioner Marlene Caride, who released 2016 compensation records in response to a reporter’s long-pending request.

Last year, amid a push by former Gov. Chris Christie to grab a chunk of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield’s reserves to help pay for drug-addiction services for the poor and uninsured, Horizon did not fight an April 18, 2017, public records request for executive compensation information by Politico reporter Katie Jennings. She published that information on May 5. Read more…