Things look­ing up for AHIP

Group’s rev­enue up sig­nif­i­cantly over 2008

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Re­becca Ve­sely

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.

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