Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney today criticized Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey chief William Marino’s nearly $9 million compensation package, calling for legislative hearings into how the compensation could be justified at a time when the insurer was raising premiums to cover higher costs. According to published reports, Marino received $934,615 in base salary and roughly $7.8 million in bonuses last year. In addition to Marino, Horizon’s nine highest-paid executives received more than $24 million in compensation in 2009 – raises that averaged 61 percent.
“Million-dollar private-sector CEO salaries are nothing new, but a $9 million payout to the head of a supposed not-for-profit organization is simply obscene, excessive and offensive,” said Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “While premiums are going up, the last thing executives should be looking to do is pad their own pockets.”
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield provides health coverage to roughly 72 percent of New Jersey residents and 52 percent of small businesses in the state.