Analysis shows Health Connector Authority salaries greater than private sector peers

An analysis of Massachusetts Health Connector Authority salaries in comparison to those in the private sector shows Connector employees are on average making more than their private sector counterparts.  Red Mass Group was provided fiscal year 2014 Health Connector Authority salaries, by the authority on Friday November 22, 2013 and reported on them on November 24, 2013.  

One of the common arguments by progressives upon reading the original Red Mass Group reporting was to ask how the salaries compared to similar employees in the insurance industry.  In February of 2013 the Insurance Journal published a compensation survey report on insurance agencies.  This is the most similar private industry to the Health Connector Authority.  The Connector sells insurance plans and makes in effect a commission on those plans to fund its activities.  

According to The Health Connector Authority it had 248,043 members in FY 2013, which is equivalent to 248,043 policies sold.  This would put the Health Connector authority in the $100M or more premium dollars sold in the Insurance Journal survey.

more after the jump

According to the Insurance Journal survey the average Owner, Principal, President or CEO of a $100M+ agency made on average $312,500 in 2013.  This translates to the Executive Director Jean Yang.  This is one of the few cases where the Connector Salary is significantly below the private sector counterpart at $179,243.  

The Insurance Journal survey did not have positions listed for Chief Operating Officers, but did have a salary listed for two types of line managers, in the insurance industry these are the people than manage a product line offered by an agency, and the operations around that.  In the salary survey the average personal line – the Connector Authority sells primarily individual market plans – manager makes $108,750 and Office Managers make an average of $97,031.  At the Health Connector Authority the COO makes $178,415, the Senior Manager of Carrier relations makes $132,012, the Directors of Customer Service & Operations and Product implementation each make $124,200, the plan management coordinator makes $113,850, and the implementaiton manager makes $106,430.

The Insurance Journal salary survey shows that Accounting Managers make on average $94,342 at $100M+ agencies.  At the Health Connector Authority the Director of Finance makes $124,200 or 32% more than her private industry counterparts. The HCA Director of Accounting makes $132,988 41% higher than the average private sector counterpart, and even the HCA senior financial analyst makes significantly more than the average Accounting Manager in the private sector at $102,311.

The average Marketing Management professional in the private sector according to the salary survey of $100M+ agencies made $118,209.  The Director of Business Development, the marketing person at the Health Connector Authority, is making $151,912 in FY 2014.  

There were no reported salaries for lawyers in the Insurance Journal survey.  However InsideCounsel.com repored in a salary survey that the average private sector in-house counsel made $183,754.  This is higher than the General Counsel of the Connector authority at $175,621.  If however, you look at the salaries of other government sector general counsels in Massachusetts the top two lawyers – $175,621 and $147,487 – at the Health Connector are making significantly more than, all but a few of, their public sector peers.  The Boston Herald has a database of 2012 calendar year salaries for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Below are the top 20 salaris for counsels.

The Insurance Journal survey stated that for East region agencies the average staff salary was $51,884.  Of the 53 Connector employees only five made less than this average salary.

Of course salary is not the only measure of a total benefit package.  In the case of the Health Connector Authority they receive the same benefits as other State Employees, including a public pension.

State employees in Massachusetts pay 20% of their health insurance premiums if they were hired before July 1, 2003 and 25% if they were hired after that date. According to the Insurance Journal survey employees of insurance agencies in the east region pay on average 69% of the health plan for their employees, however those agencies with 100M+ in sales paid about 80%.  The employer contribution is about the same.

As state employees Connector employees have a wide range of insurance options to choose from though. More than an average company.

The big difference comes in the form of retirment benefits.  A Health Connector Authority spokesman confirmed to Red Mass Group that Connector employees receive state pension benefits.  Only 5.7% of private insurance agencies provide a defined benefit pension plan.  This is a significant benefit offered to these employees.

It has been shown that Health Connector Employees make on average more than their private sector counterparts and in many cases much more.  

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

  • Comparing a Health Connector COO with a Senior Manager of Carrier relations; or comparing the Connector’s Director of Business Development with an average marketing professional in the private sector???

    What you are comparing is the top positions in the Connector, with line positions in private industry.  What does the TOP biz Dev person make in a $100 million private insurance company?   I don’t know and based on the above information, neither do you.  But, as always, not knowing the facts has never stopped you from giving an opinion.

    BTW, how much do you think the top lawyers make at BU or Harvard?  Or the top lawyers for construction companies vs the Dept of transportation?  Are the salaries above high paying…yes.  More than the average taxpayer makes?  Yes.  But these numbers are nothing compared to similar private sector positions.  

    Also, I’d love to have an “honest” discussion with you about pensions, but you are incapable of that.  For example, you don’t mention that Connector employees pay 11% of their gross pay towards their pension and the state, in the short run, saves money on the deal because the State does not have to the 7% employer contribution for Soc Sec.