Premera Blue Cross

  www.premera.com
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Premera Blue Cross Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 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)

31 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Good leaders, challenging times

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat benefits, good leadership, great company values with leaders following those values, nice opportunities, great work-life balance, many jobs are stable, many people are kind and easy to work with, nice environment

    Consconservative, slow to change and innovation, healthcare reform has many overworked and stressed, no work-out opportunities on site,

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop ratcheting the opportunity for increased pay. The review cycle and structure is confusing which is causing multiple goals vs focus on the overall more important goals. Support innovative ideas. Hire new people faster.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Why I love working here

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

    ProsEvery day, I look forward to coming to work. Any given day, there is a variety of interesting work to pick up or
    get involved in, and a fare amount of autonomy to make it happen. There are good, driven people working
    here, and people that really care about what they do and what they do for members and customers. I am
    lucky to work across many departments, from research, to sales and marketing, to biz dev, to product and
    innovation, to ops support, and most people are a pleasure to work with and very responsive. There is a
    range of jobs here, too, from actual doctors and nurses, to research marketers, to data analysts, to editors,
    to software developers and traditional ops/marketing jobs. I have seen (and perhaps dare I say, made)
    ideas happen here and get rapport, though I've also seen lab projects start and die. I actually feel like I can
    manage my "inbox" well here because we sit so closely with our teams, and everyone is a holler or an IM
    away for the most part; this isn't a case of a calendar overwhelmed with useless meetings as you are
    largely in charge of managing what you choose to partake in and where you feel needed. And maybe it's
    because of our proximity to tech, or because of some of our biggest customers being in tech, but Premera is
    actually quite a bit more web and mobile ready compared to many companies in its industry. I feel proud to
    work for Premera, and it's always met with respect when I mention it to my many counterparts in high tech. If
    you live and work in the Seattle area, you know Premera!
    It's also a job where you get to eat your own dogfood -- and it's helped me understand my own healthcare
    and benefit plans. I actually find myself able to better inform others about how it works and how to make
    better decisions about benefit coverage and healthcare, though there is still so much to learn and find out.
    And I do feel that it's had a positive impact on my wellness (minus the driving and being strapped in a car on
    an endless commute).
    Unique to eCommerce, we have changed our culture here a lot over the last couple years in trying to bring
    agile to development (moderately successfully) and to our roadmap planning. The greatest hurdles to
    overcome there have been working with 3rd parties that aren't on that type of cycle as well as internal project
    management / dependencies across departments. It's not unique to Premera and is largely a function of
    size, legacy, priorities, and the fact that this isn't really a tech company, and its projects are largely non-tech,
    so you're always competing for resources and attention. We've done a fair job with defining goals and
    targets, and we've been getting better at using metrics to drive decisions, but prioritization remains the
    greatest challenge, and hence generally large features take a while to roll out and frequently get cut out of
    scope to switch to more urgent maintenance asks or parallel competing priority. There just never seems to
    be enough developers to all the PMs and projects, and the UX budget is tiny, though it still always seems
    like Premera is hiring. There is some turnover we've seen over the past year from many team shifts and just
    the function of many contract workers. One great experiment I've seen go really well is bi-weekly demos we
    have started to showcase our work, and it's kept us accountable, diligent, as well as provided great visibility
    to internal stakeholders -- and it started out as a simple idea. So it's definitely possible to bring some
    positive change here.
    Broadly speaking, here are some other reasons to consider working here:
    -Stable industry & company -- goes without saying
    -Flexible hours for the most part though this is department specific. There is a normal expectation that you
    are here during core business hours and that you take responsibility for managing a balance between your
    work and personal needs.
    -Laptop and work phones for certain departments (probably based on job)
    -Great time off benefits
    -Modern layout, open concept space in eCommerce and plentiful whiteboarding space for creative people
    and analysts alike
    -Perks: club memberships, 10% off at the car dealerships down the street, discounts on cell phone plans,
    hotels that are in the Blues locations, zoo tickets
    -Attractive merit bonus opportunities
    -Generous pay is possible here although growth within a track may be limited
    -Love for Alaska and Northwest in general
    -Very nice walking trails on campus
    -Legal benefit gives you 25% off legal fees for (limited) network providers
    -Free EAP for life crisis or daily guidance -- think finances, taxes. They'll find you childcare and petcare
    options -- all for free. Like a personal concierge.
    -Great cafe with many choices including at least 1 vegetarian entree option, and a Starbucks right onsite and outdoor seating in the summer
    -Quarterly all-hands and department celebrations and one annual all-campus celebration
    -Frequent onsite screenings and mobile clinics
    -Nice size campus (4 main buildings) and close to a number of health facilities including Swedish campus
    down the street
    -Healthy perks and rewards for healthy lifestyle (not smoking, etc.), free bike rentals
    -Free medical insurance (no premium) if it's only you and you're healthy, reasonable dental, $400 towards
    glasses!
    -Very secure campus with 24 hour security, campus phones, badge in and out access, and you can ask for
    a lift around campus from security. Security and front desk folks are the nicest guys, and they know you by
    name. They also give you loaner badges and don't make a big deal out of it -- it's an easy process. And they
    reissue badges for free if you lose yours -- easy deactivation and reactivation process, right onsite and takes
    minutes.
    -Leadership training is available, and sometimes the entire department gets nice professional training right
    onsite that would cost $1000s to do individually. There are also online courses one can take as part of
    personal development
    -Paycheck, time off, performance management is all online and self-service -- no forms and no HR people
    to contact
    -Agile environment in certain departments, definitely see increasing innovation with introduction of more
    research departments
    -Responsive customer support, HR and benefit teams, and they actually take your feedback to improve their
    training content

    Cons-The commute is OK being that it's off 2 major highways (I-5 and SR-99) but it's still a hike from downtown.
    With some many employees living south, it'd be nice to see a downtown office
    -Parking is a competition if you plan to get to campus after 9 am (and many people on the IT side do)
    -Not very telecommuter friendly even though there are a number of telecommuters. VPN and telecommuter
    setup is possible by department exception but VPN is often spotty, conferencing options are dated and
    people often forget to call remote employees in
    -Facilities are cramped although open to improvements when you suggest them
    -In IT, you definitely have on call duty so do not assume your weekends or nights will be entirely work free
    -It's hard to actually leave campus to do "field research" so to speak if you are in sales & marketing. It's not
    really part of the job unless you carve it out
    -Many layers of separation between leadership and individual contributors. You have 0 visibility from your
    work unless you make it happen
    -Process bog-down -- yes, there are still some dinosaur policies and systems in place, so bringing
    transformation is in itself a transformative concept and a multi-year ambition
    -May be a rare company where PM contractors seem to have more power than full-time employees and
    relative immunity from performance/accountability

    Advice to Senior ManagementWith the exception of IT, leadership seems to pop out to talk to employees once a quarter and does not
    appear approachable. Many layers of information away, and it takes great coordination to figure out who
    should sit at the table for decisions and how to make a complex matrix project run. It takes longer to
    organize than the work itself sometimes.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good place if you stick it out

    Senior Internal Consultant (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    Proslots of job opportunities
    nice campus at MLT

    Constop heavy organization
    HR dept a mockery

    Advice to Senior Managementpromote and reward the talent in house

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    Changing Environment

    Business Analyst (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsThe company is in a bit of positive upheaval due to the ACA. I'm taking a wait and see approach. The culture is positive and solid. Very people focused, and that goes for employees and customers alike.

    ConsInterdepartmental communication is poor. In house IT is the 500 pound gorilla here.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStrong leadership is needed to break down silly communication boundaries amongst departments. Accountability needs to go up.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Customer Service Rep

    Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) Spokane, WA

    ProsGood opportunity for growth and movement within the company. The company has excellent benefits and health program incentives. It also has a focus on community service.

    ConsStressful jobs with at times, unrealistic goals and expectations. The company often hires management outside of the company or promotes from different departments which makes it difficult for them to understand a customer service reps job.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    integrity and consumer experience are most important at all levels.

    Administrative Coordinator (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsSupportive environment, decent benefits, focusted on career-talend development.

    Conslower salary than expected; too many meetings

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

     

    Interesting, fast pace environment with dedicated employees

    Senior Project Manager (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    Prosdedicated employees and good teams
    very interesting projects
    really respect the leadership in the area of the company I work in

    Consa lot of work to do and if you do well they will give you more. Need to push back a bit to prevent being over worked.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

     

    a place to feel good about what you do

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsI have enormous pride working for Premera, I believe in our products and the impact we make in the market place. We have some extraordinary leaders here and lots of diversity. The team feeling is the best.

    ConsGoes without saying that working for a non profit you are not going to make bank LOL. But the benefits are very good and what they invest in you for healthcare is excellent. It can be a little cliquey in different departments but you can move around they are very solid on promoting within the company. few ceilings to keep you down.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep walking the walk and watch the Managers who's teams are happy those are who you want to learn from. stay engaged with the workforce and appreciate them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

     

    SDET

    Software Development Engineer In Test (Former Employee)

    Prosgood environment and co workers to work

    Conscons nothing to tell about

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Decent Place, Slow to Change

    IT Senior Manager (Current Employee) Mountlake Terrace, WA

    ProsPremera offers good work life balance, an easy commute location, decent benefits although they are being reduced every year, and a decent pension plan. The 401k match is average.

    ConsThe pay rates are well below market, there is a large pocket of folks that have been there forever and are unwilling or unaware of how to make change or improvements.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease your pay, get rid of the old guard who don't want to change, and remove the consensus culture.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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