At the urging of New York state, Oxford Health Plans Inc. agreed to suspend a $9-million compensation package for its founder and outgoing chairman in light of the company's finances. Oxford said it will withhold future payments to Stephen Wiggins, pending discussions with the state's insurance department. The department had called for suspension of the payment until the financially troubled managed-care company could ensure that the cost would not be allocated to its New York subsidiaries and that those units had sufficient capital to resolve their problems. Gov. George Pataki also weighed in on Wiggins' package, calling it "inappropriate in light of past problems at Oxford and pending applications for rate increases." Oxford Chairman Fred Nazem assured the state that the cost of Wiggins' severance package would be paid by its parent company, leaving New York policyholders unaffected. Norwalk, Conn.-based Oxford also said it will provide the same assurances to regulators and subscribers in the other states where it does business. The company, in a statement, defended the severance package for Wiggins, who was ousted in February.