Tufts Health Plan To Keep Paying Board Members

Jim Roosevelt, chief of Tufts Health Plan
Jim Roosevelt, chief of Tufts Health Plan

Bucking the trend of nonprofit health insurers in Massachusetts halting compensation for board members, Tufts Health Plan today said its board members have decided to keep paying themselves double-digit annual fees despite objections from state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

You may recall that earlier this month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, suspended pay for its board of directors in the face of public outrage over its eye-popping pay packages. Tufts has chosen a different route, and explains in this statement:

After careful deliberation, our board of directors once again reviewed the issue of compensation and elected to continue the practice.

There is an additional overlay of responsibility required for health insurers’ board members. Unlike the directors of other nonprofits, they are subject to distinct regulatory considerations. Therefore, compensation for time, commitment and skill of top talent is a responsible approach for the oversight of an organization that provides health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents, while maintaining financial soundness and a second in the nation ranking for quality and customer service.

This program aired on March 30, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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