Health Plan Workers Pay Outstrips Industry

November 20, 2000 ( - Health plan workers received median base pay raises of 5.4% this year, compared with just 3.6% for a broader group of health care providers, a new survey said.

The gap between the two groups was maintained in total cash compensation as well, the survey reported.

The survey found that base pay plus short-term incentives increased at a median 8.5% rate for health plan employees, versus just 4.1% awarded by health care providers.

The 2000 Integrated Health Networks Compensation Survey by consultant William M. Mercer found that executives of integrated health networks fared even better than other health care employees in 2000, receiving median base pay increases of 5.5% and median total cash compensation increases of 10.4% in 2000. 

Integrated health networks include multi-market provider management companies and managed care organizations, as well as fully integrated care delivery systems.


The Mercer survey notes that some managed care organizations performed at above-target levels this past year and, as a result, paid out at above-target and, in some cases, maximum levels in their incentive plans.   Additionally, health plans also have been quicker to adopt variable pay – either as an attraction and retention tool or a reward for outstanding performance – and generally have driven variable pay farther down into their organizations than health care providers.

Mercer’s survey also shows a distinction in pay between for-profit and not-for-profit entities in the health care industry. Across most employee groups, for-profit health care organizations have budgeted for slightly larger pay increases in 2001 than their not-for-profit counterparts.

The survey was based on detailed pay data from more than 850 health care organizations nationwide.

More information on the survey is at .