Premera Blue Cross

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Premera Blue Cross Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 138 reviews

56% Approve of the CEO

Premera Blue Cross President, CEO, and Director Gubby Barlow

Gubby Barlow

(89 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work-life balance in most parts of the organization (IT is a big exception)(in 23 reviews)

  • Some good benefits, nothing exceptional though(in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Work/life balance does not exist in some parts of IT(in 8 reviews)

  • Upper Management does not pay attention when issues are brought to their attention(in 7 reviews)

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    • Culture & Values
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Stuck in the past

    Analyst (Former Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsSome of the people are good people who do their jobs well and yet deserve so much more.
    Decent benefits
    If you want to be mediocre and get away with it, this is the place for you.
    If you want to work here for over a decade, get "grandfathered" in to some special work schedule where you can come in early and goof off and read 50 shades of grey and get coffee and stroll out earlier than others... this is the place for you!
    The temp of the building is pretty warm considering the workforce seems to be predominately older women.
    There is a cafeteria on site which is nice, but only because parking is at a premium after a certain time if you want to park on site.
    They relaxed the dress code to allow denim all week.

    ConsIf a VP/manager has a goal to make their bonus, that project supporting the goal is going to make it to the top priority. Dates to put said project into motion are not likely to move because that would mean the goal was not attained. This could mean working weekends several in a row.
    Not competitive pay (pay is well below the mid range for the grade), raises are a joke (2%). If you want a promotion, better get your chap stick and even then, don't count on it.
    Goals set are based on manager's perception of performance, if you look at a person funny once they will use that to rate you a 2 regardless of what other accomplishments. (2 is not good)
    Managers seem to be placed into their position of power with no clue how to lead people.
    Leave your personality at home.
    Management can play favorites, if they are aware of issues that one "bad egg" of an employee that are impacting morale of a team and performance/attendance of said employee, they will brush it under the rug and continue to play favorites. This can be used against you. Every team seems to have one of these bad eggs.
    Herd mentality. Don't have an opinion. This place does not want your change, your suggestions, ways to improve. This place has a lot of complacent workers/managers who are just biding their time until they retire. Don't come here if you want to rock the boat.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake things fair. Stop favoritism. Listen to employees that want to make changes for the better. Consider the accomplishments of people and if they're doing their job and well. Upper management needs to take a good solid look at those who are in leadership positions with direct reports. Be aware of who does what and who is for example, working from home from another state yet doesn't log on. Promote people who deserve it, don't penalize people who come from other teams and need a hefty pay raise to get brought up to what the position pays... pay them what the job deserves not below the standard for the job for the same work as their peers.
    If you're going to have values that you expect employees to live by, you better live by them yourselves. You are not Excellent, you are mediocre. Yes you provide health insurance but you know behind the scenes it's a hot mess.
    Integrity - It's a nice thought but it's not always put into practice. I've seen the wrong thing done a lot. It drags the rest of the employees down to see what goes on.
    Teamwork - You should having employees suggestions become implemented. Don't do things just because you've always done them the same way, if you want to get ahead and be the best, you need to innovate and change. Don't bring in fresh blood thinking you want something new when you want to just stay stuck in your old ways...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Skip this one...

    Senior Web Product Manager (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsEasy commute and cafeteria is OK which is good since there is nothing within walking distance.

    ConsHeavy middle-management team that is ineffective. Lots of talk but no walk. Decisions are bottle-necked at middle mgmt level. Teams and individuals have no decision making ability so morale is low and apathy is high.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMiddle managers don't manage staff and need to pay attention. Folks with real ability are sidelined and under-utilized while managers protect their paychecks and manage up instead of their teams.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Not what I thought

    Coordinator (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsCompensation is okay. Free parking. 401 K matching.

    ConsThis place is a fraternity culture. If you are a white guy and you ski, you are golden! Administrative support are treated like interchangeable drones, and after-thoughts (if actually thought of at all). It reminds me of a modern-day Mad Men without the sexual overtures. Awful. There's absolutely no recognition for individual potential, and hourly employees are treated like children. It has zero feeling of innovation, and is so steeped in political culture it's oppressive. The systems are old and there's a long drawn-out process for everything.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCare about those that support you. Discuss and support their goals, and don't be denigrating.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Poor Leadership

    Trainer (Former Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsGood company and professional envirornment. Decent benefits, and culture is good but very stiff, not a lot of flexibility but that can be good. People in other departments really enjoy their jobs at Premera, however, there are issues within the department that I work in.

    ConsLeadership on my team (not all teams) is very poor. The coordinator is running the department, not the manager. No direction and no support to do my job properly. A lack of understanding and experience in management to control the team.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    7 people found this helpful  

    Do not waste your time working for this company. At best consider this to be a stepping stone in your career.

    Senior IT Analyst (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsThe health coverage is probably the only barely decent thing this company can offer it's employees.

    ConsThere are too many to mention in this limited space....giving only a few.

    This company cannot afford even a paper cup let alone complimentary tea/coffee. You'll have to purchase everything from the cafeteria. Everything is minimalistic in nature required to squeeze the max out of the line staff.

    The entire management spend their entire days in useless meetings while the line staff work their butts off.

    There's no work-life balance and little thought is given to such trivialities which does not affect the management anyway.

    Procrastination and CYA pervades each and every action by the management who unfailingly micromanage across the board. Ass kissers are preferred over talented hardworking individuals. ( An SVP is a HS graduate ! )

    You do not see any senior management in the aisles unless there's an emergency...none of them make any effort to even walk around or talk to staff and get their views.

    Not a single person from the management has any idea what is required in today's tech savvy world. Most of them are still dreaming of the "golden days" of mainframe computers and think the web is what you see in a dusty corner of your home. Try explaining issues to such people and getting them to take any decision !!

    There's no onsite gym or any meaningful perks offered to employees.

    There's zero scope of promotion or even a career with this company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry reading what companies like Google and Amazon are doing to attract and retain talented individuals. But you probably wouldn't understand as you have mindsets from the stone age.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    C.Y.A.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat employee benefits, pay is incredibly high and people get promoted without jobs even posted.

    ConsTakes 10 years to get advancement, HR is not there to support you and apparently new rules have been put into that place that has turned it into a daycare. No one and I mean no one makes decisions without having 25 meetings. Too much wasted time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet to actually know who is talented in your company and who is a fraud.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Micromanagement by hypercritical, unprofessional management.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBusiness casual dress code for employees.

    ConsClique employee culture newbies are not welcomed. Management celebrates the status quo and disfavors innovative ideas. No opportunity for advancement as only a favored few are moved up after ten or more years of venerating their superiors. Conservative social culture unwelcoming to minority and women employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCome into the 21st century and treat employees as competent and valuable contributors to the corporation's success rather than unwelcomed liabilities. Allow competent employees to excel rather than suppressing their potential through micromanagement and unjustified criticism.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    If you enjoy being a sardine in a cubicle this is your company.

    Manager (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsCafeteria. Not subsidized by Premera!!. If you are under 40 you will be promoted at less money than the regime currently in power. Go Premera.

    ConsA typical work day is focused around useless meetings, multi-leveled management that provides no added value, and cliques of ill equipped executive level managers. The company made $320 Billion in 2008 but requires employees to use vacation time when the office is intentionally closed for the days prior to long holidays. The guise is that that it costs too much money to pay employees for unused paid time off. Be prepared to take your portable lap top with you even to your lunch and home. It is now your new parasite.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOh, if you want to work out at the health conglomerate's state of the art exercise facility you can forget that. They don't have one. But you can walk on the trails at your own risk. Put your money where your mouth is and promote employees' health with more than a free trail. So shameful.

    Don't promote mid level managers just because they have worked there for decades. Review your human capital's PROVEN abilities-- not tenure.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    mean spirited and highly dysfunctional culture

    Manager (Former Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    Proseasy commute. There were some nice people who work there. Nobody works all that hard so the work life balance is good.

    ConsFear based culture. Nobody follows processes so there is a lot of duplicate work going on. People are treated with little or no respect and the salary and benefits aren't very good. My experience of going through the interview process and actually working there was vastly different. I was told things about bonuses, benefits, advancement opportunities that didn't exist in reality (particularly for women over 40). The place was a huge disappointment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe quality of the management is lacking. Perhaps instead of spending so much time posturing for one another they could spend some time learning how to actually manage people and move the business forward.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Awful, Just Awful

    Group Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsParking
    Flexible work schedule
    Generous PTO accrual for new employees

    ConsPeople are NOT held responsible for doing their own work.
    Stuffy corporate culture, that is horribly behind the times.
    Salaries are an utter joke.
    Mediocore management

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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