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State’s Largest Insurer Suspends Board Pay

BOSTON — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, has suspended payments to members of its board of directors.

The board said Tuesday that after consideration of issues raised by Attorney General Martha Coakley it has voted to immediately and indefinitely suspend fees paid to directors.

Coakley said she is “encouraged” by Blue Cross’ decision to suspend pay.

The board says it will also begin a broader dialogue about the insurer’s legal classification as a public charity.

Blue Cross Blue Shield came under fire after details of an $11.3 million severance package awarded to former CEO Cleve Killingsworth became public.

Earlier Tuesday, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino questioned the insurer’s payment of salaries to board members.

“A lot of us serve on nonprofit boards — we don’t get paid for it,” Menino said. “We do it because we want to make a difference in our community. And these folks are getting $73,000, $80,000 to serve on a board. Something’s wrong with that scenario.”

Menino spoke after he filed legislation to allow the city of Boston to create its own health care commission modeled after the state’s Group Insurance Commission.

— Here’s the BCBS statement (on Scribd):

Earlier:

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