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Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The CEOs of several Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance companies received significant pay raises and bonuses in 2020, according to an analysis by AIS Health.

Why it matters: The not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers keep executive compensation more hidden than publicly traded insurers. And the data show pay increased during the pandemic, as insurers retained higher profits due to people delaying care.

By the numbers: The highest-paid CEO of a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan last year was Daniel Loepp, who made $11.5 million, but that was down almost 5% from 2019.

  • Dan Hilferty ($9.9 million), now retired from Independence Blue Cross, and Maurice Smith of Health Care Service ($5.9 million) were the next highest-paid CEOs.
  • Bonuses made up a vast majority of the Blues CEOs' pay.
  • Craig Samitt of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota had the highest year-over-year increase (109%), making $3.4 million.

Go deeper: Health care executive pay soars during pandemic

Go deeper

Updated Oct 13, 2021 - Science

Blue Origin launches William Shatner, 3 others to space

The crew of NS-18, Audrey Powers, William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, with CrewMember 7 Sarah Knights. Photo Courtesy of Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin successfully flew William Shatner — Captain Kirk himself from "Star Trek" — and three other astronauts to space for its second human mission on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The launch was another step toward proving the company can safely launch people to suborbital space and bring them back to Earth.

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 13, 2021 - Axios Denver

A reality check on Colorado's mandate to cover transgender services

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colorado made a national statement Tuesday, becoming the first state to require some insurers to cover transition-related care for transgender people as an essential benefit.

Driving the news: The Biden administration agreed to the expansion sought by Gov. Jared Polis and affirmed two more mandates approved by Colorado lawmakers to cover more opioid treatments and a yearly mental health exam.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.