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Humana CEO to bank $40 million if Aetna deal closes


Humana Inc. CEO Bruce Broussard is primed for a huge payday: If the federal government approves Humana's $37 billion sale to Aetna Inc., Mr. Broussard will receive $40.2 million.

The “golden parachute” compensation package includes a $6 million severance payout, while most of the remaining money will come from cashing out stock, according to a regulatory disclosure released Wednesday.

The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust team is evaluating the Aetna-Humana marriage, announced last summer, along with Anthem Inc.'s acquisition of Cigna Corp. Consumer advocates and hospitals have criticized the mergers as anticompetitive and harmful to the people who pay insurance premiums, but the insurers have said the deals are necessary to help them adapt to health care reform.

Mr. Broussard's potential $40.2 million payout is much larger than other CEO golden parachutes in the health insurance industry. Former Coventry Health Care Inc. CEO Allen Wise was paid roughly $14.6 million after Aetna acquired it in 2013. Herbert Fritch, previously CEO of HealthSpring Inc., collected $29.7 million when Cigna finalized the 2012 buyout of his insurer.

However, Mr. Broussard's compensation package is similar with other larger health care mergers. The golden parachute for Michael Ball, former CEO of Hospira Inc., was valued at $43.9 million when Pfizer Inc. overtook his pharmaceutical and medical-device company. That figure was later reported to be even higher.

Mr. Broussard's total compensation in 2015 was $10.3 million, a slight tick upward from 2014 when he made a little less than $10.2 million. Last year's pay package included a $1.24 million salary, millions in stock options and various perquisites, like $57,000 worth of using Humana's corporate airplane.

Brian Kane, Humana's chief financial officer and a former Goldman Sachs executive, made $2.3 million in 2015 and will make almost $9 million if the Aetna deal closes.

Bob Herman writes for Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Business Insurance.

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