Rajaratnam, 54, was also fined $10m but the Galleon Group founder made well over $50m from his illegal trading activities, said the judge at the Manhattan federal court.
Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy charges in May after a two-month trial.
The judge denied Rajaratnam bail and he must report to prison on 28 November.
The prosecution had requested he be handed nearly 20 years in prison, but the defence asked for nine years at most.
District Judge Richard Holwell disclosed that Rajaratnam has advanced diabetes and needs a kidney transplant, and that this had been taken into consideration in the sentencing.
He said Rajaratnam’s “crimes and the scope of his crimes reflect a virus in our business culture that needs to be eradicated”.
But the judge also praised Rajaratnam’s philanthropy for victims of the earthquake in Pakistan and the 9/11 attacks.
It is always laughable when defendents like Rajaratnam suddenly become gravely ill prior to sentencing only make a miraculous recovery. They also seem to take a renewed interest in charitable donations. That is easy to do with someone elses money.
In their pre-sentencing arguments, prosecutors said Rajaratnam “remains defiant that he never committed insider trading and, incredibly, he maintains that the line between legal and illegal conduct was not always clear to him”.
The prosecution said Rajaratnam made up to $75m in profits from illegal trades.
But the defence said he made a much lower sum – about $7m – when trades by his Galleon Group of hedge funds were discounted.
Bear Stearns hedge-fund trader Danielle Chiesi was among more than two dozen people convicted in the same case, with sentences ranging from a few months to 10 years.
Chiesi, 45, a former beauty queen used her powers of persuasion to get dumb male executives to part with their secrets.