An investigative report by WRAL in Durham, North Carolina has reported that despite the Pandemic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has reported strong profits and has paid its top executives millions in bonuses.
In 2021, BCBSNC, a not-for-profit corporation, reported annual revenue of $10.7 billion and net revenue or profit of $570 million. This represents a 118% increase from 2020 and an increase of 16% from pre-Pandemic 2019. As a result, BCBSNC paid its top eight executives more than $9,000,000 in bonuses. BCBSNC President and CEO Tunde Sotunde, MD, received a bonus of $2.1 million, bringing his annual compensation to over $4 million. In addition, CFO Mitch Perry, Chief Legal Officer Danielle Gray, and Senior Vice President of Commercial Markets Gerald Petkau each received bonuses in excess of $1 million.
When asked how BCBSNC could defend such high executive compensation at a time when consumers were facing steep increases in healthcare costs and health insurance premiums, CFO Perry stated that it was important that BCBSNC pay its executives “fair” compensation that was competitive with the market. To test that statement, WRAL examined bonuses paid to two Blue plans with comparable populations. It found that the CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan was paid a $12 million bonus and that the CEO of Blue Shield of California was paid a $2.5 million bonus. WRAL has filed public record requests seeking information on bonuses paid to other Blue Cross Blue Shield executives.
A link to the WRAL investigative report can be found here.