Things looking up for AHIP
Group’s revenue up significantly over 2008
The top lobbying group for major health insurers, America’s Health Insurance Plans, more than quadrupled its earnings from membership dues last year, according to an Internal Revenue Service filing.
AHIP collected close to $150 million in dues in 2009, compared with dues totaling $34.5 million in 2008. The group represents about 1,300 member companies providing health coverage to more than 200 million Americans.
The Washington-based organization reported total revenue of nearly $184.7 million last year, up substantially over 2008, when it reported revenue of $69.7 million. Program services accounted for $167 million of the 2009 figure, up from $55.4 million in 2008.
In what was a crucial year for healthcare reform, AHIP spent $34.1 million on lobbying and $86.9 million on “advocacy.” This advocacy spending included $15.5 million to the Locust Street Group, a political strategy firm that combines grassroots field campaigns with online and social networking tools, according to its website.
“With so much at stake, we, like other major stakeholders, invested in advocacy,” said Robert Zirkelbach, AHIP spokesman, in an e-mailed statement. “We supported a number of leading healthcare advocacy organizations and coalitions that shared our views that reform must: build on the employer-based system, ensure that those who like their current coverage can keep it, cover all Americans and reduce soaring medical costs.”
Overall, AHIP posted a loss of $641,000 in 2009—an improvement over the prior year when it lost $4.6 million. It stemmed investment losses last year, reporting a $173,000 loss, compared with an investment loss of $3.3 million in 2008, according to its IRS Form 990.
Karen Ignagni, AHIP’s president and CEO, earned $1.8 million in 2009. This included about $715,000 in base compensation and a $500,000 bonus, along with other compensation such as retirement funds. Her pay was down slightly over 2008, when she earned a total of $1.9 million.
Ignagni’s second-in-command, Charles Stellar, who serves as executive vice president, nearly doubled his pay. Stellar earned $1 million last year in total compensation, up from nearly $546,000 in 2008. Compensation last year included a base salary of about $462,000, plus a $50,000 bonus and $419,000 in “other reportable compensation,” plus retirement and non-taxable benefits, according to the filing.
Ignagni, AHIP’s chief executive, earned $1.8 million in 2009.