CareFirst executive pay examined

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 12, 2007

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Maryland Insurance Commissioner Ralph Tyler has ordered a hearing over whether former CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO William L. Jews' $18 million severance package violated Maryland insurance regulations.

At issue, Tyler said, is whether the millions Jews is due in continuation of salary, fringe benefits, deferred compensation and retirement plan are "fair and reasonable compensation for work actually performed for the benefit of [CareFirst] and its affiliates," as required by state insurance regulations. Martin Wasserman, MD, executive director of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, said his organization believes Jews' severance package is excessive.

In a prepared statement, CareFirst responded that its board "feels strongly that Mr. Jews should receive the compensation legitimately due him .... [S]everal expert compensation consultants retained by our board have independently concluded that the benefits due Mr. Jews are reasonable compared with those provided by similar not-for-profit Blues plans."

Maryland Insurance Administration spokeswoman Karen Barrow said there was no date yet for the hearing, but it would likely happen before the end of the year.

In the meantime, Tyler ordered CareFirst not to pay its former chief executive any further benefits.

Jews, who left Owings Mills, Md.-based CareFirst in November 2006, already has received about $1 million, according to the commissioner.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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