Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

  www.arkbluecross.com
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Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Reviews

Updated July 30, 2014
Updated July 30, 2014
29 Reviews

3.9
29 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mark White
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Who wouldn't want to work for ABCBS

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time

    Pros

    Employees are treated with dignity and respect and are kept informed.

    Cons

    Promotions are sometimes based on who you know.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Incredible Culture, Respects Family Work Balance

    Cons

    Complex business with a great deal of uncertainty due to ACA

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote based on talent, not just experience.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    It is great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Blue Card Provider Service  in  Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Blue Card Provider Service in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    It has Great benefits at low cost to employees

    Cons

    Pay is not as should be

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time off policies and more perks. Need more opportunity for growth

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company made up of amazing people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Advancement potential is great and limited by your own ambitions. The workforce is made up of very intelligent and caring people.

    Cons

    Sharing information across divisions can be difficult. Thanks to ACA the future of this industry is complicated and stability is unknown.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    7 years down the drain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior IT Analyst  in  Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Senior IT Analyst in Little Rock, AR

    I worked at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Bonuses are all I can think of

    Cons

    IT management incompetent cronies, mind games gang bullying

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read the review called Wasted Decade it is spot on, there is no way I can describe it any better. Get on the hit-list you will definitely pay the price. Incompetent bullies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great benefits and learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Stability
    Great benefits
    above average pay
    Time off is decent but should have sick time AND PTO
    They offer all sorts of classes to learn more everything from EXCEL to POWERPOINT but you have to find the time to take the classes.

    Cons

    customer service and claims are treated like robots----production, production, production, oh and production. Some of the supervisors should not be there its how much but you kiss. Some of the supervisors are more like prison guards than caring productive supervisors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revise your claims position policy good people are going to walk away because they don't feel appreciated

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative  in  Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good pto policy and a low stress level position

    Cons

    compensation could be better but it is not bad

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    A waste of a decade

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Systems Analyst  in  Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Lead Systems Analyst in Little Rock, AR

    I worked at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good parking availability at a monthly rate of $25.00 as of July 2012. This is a low rate for parking in the downtown area of Little Rock, AR. Apparently, some employees even get to park for free. Health insurance is provided for a very minimal monthly charge, also around $25.00. Term life and disability insurance are free. Hourly employees can earn a monthly bonus. Exempt employees have an opportunity to earn two yearly incentive bonuses, one cash and one 401K bonus, up to 10% of annual salary. The salaries are about average for the greater Little Rock area which is notorious for below average IT salaries. Most IT workers are assigned an office rather than a cubicle.

    Cons

    Information Technology work is intellectual. That said, the IT management is thoroughly anti-intellectual. The work was not satisfying for system administrators due to an extreme separation of duties and responsibilities. One is basically given a basic task, or set of basic tasks, and expected to repeat those ad nauseam. The salaries were below average for the southeast or south central regions, about as can be expected for much of Little Rock. Promotion is either based on longevity or cronyism. There are no true measures of performance. I generally received "good" performance reviews. However, performance reviews amounted to a manager or supervisor cutting and pasting what was on the previous review with the possible modification of various grading values so the reviews don't appear to be totally repetitious. The management staff had no real understanding of employee aptitude or attitude.

    Another typical “old school” corporate environment. Lots of kakis and suits swiping badges to get in and out of every building they own. Paper shuffling techniques were prized skills. Forget innovation. Forget about silly ideas like saving the company money. They could care less. They all knew the company would simply raise insurance premiums so they could pay a consulting firm to come in and install new systems after which said consultant firm would cut an extended support contract. As an “administrator,” it would become your job to answer the phone and ensure unfettered remote access for the consultants. Policies and procedures reign supreme. Lots of people schmoozing (or worse) their way up a ladder that was invisible to anyone not in “the club.” Plenty of back-biting, favoritism and nepotism to go around. Easy to get lost in the shuffle.

    I worked in one of the IT departments. If you are an Information Technology professional, you will receive very little valuable technical experience in this department. If you like working as an office drone, you will love working in this department. An IT employee here blindly performs a series of meaningless assignments, mostly involving either signing or having change requests signed. You will spend an inordinate amount of your time getting approval for nearly anything you might deem necessary for your job description. Between occasions when employees might execute some simpleton task, they are left to their own devices. There is really no one there who is willing or able to assist you with any task beyond the aforementioned signatures. Many of the IT employees ended up sitting in their offices watching YouTube to pass the time between paychecks. The supervisors did not want to know, nor did they really seem to care, about employee pastimes. It made no difference to management what effect these activities had on such inaccessible details like morale. How employees felt about each other or the unsatisfying nature of their job was their problem. Deal with it.

    My manager, his manager, his manager, and so-on had no-clue what they wanted or how to get it. Management subscribed to a slogan "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it," which explains why they could not manage conceptual IT workers. The mere idea of intellectual work left management bewildered. They were always grasping for means to communicate with their subordinates and overcompensating for their fear of losing control. The vice president of the department used to have his administrative assistant print his emails so he could read them. My department manager could go nearly an entire week without even powering on his computer. My former supervisor spent most of his time concerned with the punctuality, absenteeism, and email content of his subordinates. This is most likely because he had no technical abilities. He had no emotional intelligence. He had no managerial skills. He misunderstood everything he ever read about how to manage employees. I am not exaggerating. Strolling the hallways, saying an employees name when passing their office doorway, was that supervisors method of giving employee recognition. Forget knowing anything about their junior employees capabilities, what anyone's job entailed or what training might give their employees more confidence in themselves. Those items were never deemed important. What was important was that you came to work, on time and remained in your assigned work area during your designated working hours. These were quantifiable measures.

    There was no differentiation between any employees of my department or their talents. For over seven years, everyone in the department was a “Senior Micro Services Analyst,” regardless of whether they could even spell computer. Log file? What’s that? It was totally degrading to be placed on the same level with these people. I tried not to think about it. I needed a paycheck. Sometime in the seventh year, I was given a promotion to “Lead.” Other than a pay raise, nothing about my job changed. I still received calls in the middle of the night because a bonehead in operations got a message about a failed FTP job. In fact, the administrative part of the job (think “paper shuffle”) only became worse after the promotion. There was almost no technical work being done by anyone in the department. After I left, they began promoting everyone to “Lead.” Lead of what, nobody knows. The losers who remained didn’t mind. They got a raise and that is all that mattered to these people.

    It was impossible to determine the mission or goals of the department. The mission and goals of the organization were nothing, if not obtuse, to an IT department thoroughly isolated from the business departments. There existed no concrete reason why the entire role of IT within this organization could not be outsourced. The fact that they were moving toward mostly contract workers pointed in that direction. Every employee role was slowly becoming more and more transient. Now I see they are beginning to hire interns. That they continued to fill the offices on my floor with people who did not know or care about organizational goals effectively dispensed with the notion of said goals altogether. There really was no connection between the employees in my department and the actual business.

    There was no real accountability at any level beyond hourly employees in this company. In other words, the unwritten definition of an exempt employee is exemption from all accountability of work performed as long as you show up, draw breath and keep your name off the hit list. Much of the day for my co-workers was consumed with reading and responding to an infinite barrage of email messages. There was no real growth opportunity, either through training, salaries, promotions, internal transfer, nothing. Once you get hired, and getting hired is a major task in itself because you must go through a contracting service to get in the door, you will remain in the position you are assigned until you terminate unless someone with more seniority terminates first.

    The supervisors and managers in IT demonstrated little or no knowledge of information technology, business trends or even good management skills. Yet they still called all the shots. This led everyone down many a rabbit hole. On the rare occasion when good decisions are made, these decisions usually originated from someone outside the company or someone below management who were briefly allowed into the "circle of trust" so management could poach their ideas. Occasionally a subordinate went around management to accomplish something. The latter activity would land you squarely on the hit list.

    The idea that this company cares about its employees is a holdover from a bygone era. This is nothing more than wish fulfillment of those employees who have been on the payroll too long. I would say that 99.9% of the people at this company either did not know who I was, or could care less I was leaving or didn't even notice. Admittedly, I played a key role in this by voicing my ideas many times too many. I probably wore out my welcome long before my departure. Unfortunately, I'm from an era where self-expression is a virtue. Suffice it to say expressing any opinion beyond those which are given to you is unwelcome at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The ideas of the average employee (yes, even a team "Lead” was an average employee) did not matter. Therefore, the employee really did not matter.

    Homogeneity was welcome and ignorance was the norm. Uniqueness was frowned upon and intellect was seen as a threat. And now that I have moved on to other IT shops where a system administrator is a true system administrator, who singly performs all of the duties and responsibilities that would be considered normal within the IT industry, I have to say I agree with the reviewer who said they did not gain enough experience to compete outside this company. I spend my own time trying to keep up with the latest technology developments. However, if you attempted to stand out from the crowd you would be effectively hammered back into your place.

    The whole “life-work balance” line of bull is just that - a line of bull. Face it. Unless you are already independently wealthy, (in which case you wouldn’t even be looking for a job) the vast majority your time (525,600 minutes in a year) will be spent at your chosen vocation. If you think the meaning of your life is to be a clerk at a health insurance company, to sit at a desk pushing paper all day, to speak when you are spoken to and to do what you are told when you are told to do it, then this is just the place for you. Your computer science diploma and all your certifications will look really nice on the bland walls of your cubicle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have worked in the IT business now for nearly twenty years. I have seen a lot of changes. The one thing that has stayed the same is the winners are the innovators, the visionaries. The IT management at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield are not innovators. Why do you think the technologies being used at your company are more than a decade old? Here in the days of BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) your IT department is still worried about how they can control technology from yesterday. When the people at the helm do not have a real understanding of how the ship operates, it should be no surprise when the ship runs aground.

    Within at least one of the IT departments (and there are far too many IT departments at this company), the separation of duties and responsibilities ad infinitum has gone beyond reason. Because of this, the IT department personnel continue expanding the numbers so there will be one to two people administering email, one to two people administering user accounts, one to two people administering Active Directory, one to two people administering database servers, one to two people administering web servers, one to two people administering file servers, etc. In most cases, there is only one employee who actually performs any given responsibility. The rest are on permanent standby. Most of the "performers" in IT are forced to be one-trick ponies. In order to complete a fifteen minute task, an IT employee has to wait, sometimes for days, for many other people to complete their portion of the task. Find out why they have done this.

    Most of the excuses for this much overly granular micro managed organization are so-called "findings" from risk assessment audits that were all company sponsored audits. No one ever seriously reviews the cost implications of what is being done to cap these audit findings or how it is affecting the companies ability to compete. I suspect this is because the company has controlled over eighty percent of the health insurance market in Arkansas for too long. With the oncoming healthcare reform, this company should be demanding more streamlined, linear, processes for employees to complete work. This is not the case in IT.

    Although there is regular lip service given the concept of improving processes, there exists no real initiative to do so within the IT departments at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. To most within these departments, "improving" a process means piling on additional layers until the process becomes nothing less than a giant Rube Goldberg machine. This might be changing but only because of legal and economic forces closing in on the company. Fiscal irresponsibility is a prime reason why these departments could be backed into a corner. There could be a painful road ahead but most of the management staff, and many of the "old-timers," refuse to see what lies ahead. These are not forward thinking leaders. There was a great amount of money wasted building two new data centers, with more amenities and more space than this company knows what to do with, only to then have company executives looking toward backward thinking, technologically ignorant IT leadership to submit ideas that will help grow future revenues.

    Executive leadership should open their eyes to the truth. IT systems are only as good as the people who deploy, manage, maintain, and troubleshoot them. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield pays far too much for all infrastructure solutions. Clear out the crony IT leadership staff. Inject some new blood in that tired system. You don't need IT people who are thinking about what is needed today. You need IT people who are thinking about what is needed in ten years. You don't need IT management who cover for each other, doing everything within their power to protect each other from accountability. You need to force accountability. Non-productive, unaccountable IT leadership will surely come home to roost. You need to hire and promote well trained technical leaders who can provide solutions for tomorrows problems. Then again, there may not be any real concern for bringing value to a company with deep pockets that continue to be filled by rising premiums. Maybe I had it wrong all along. Maybe the goal is just to keep wasting other peoples money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Claims

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Claims Specialist  in  Little Rock, AR
    Former Employee - Claims Specialist in Little Rock, AR

    I worked at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Decent pay, nice work environment

    Cons

    Training software awful, Trainers not sympathetic if you can't get your materials due to their own failed training systems. Rude upper level management will try to embarrass you in front of peers if they think they can get a laugh. Some very immature upper management for some reason.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that your training software is extremely lacking if you still haven't updated to web based applications yet. Be more mature and don't put trainees down to uplift yourselves. It only makes you appear simple minded and petty.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Positive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Provider Services/Provider Contracting
    Former Employee - Provider Services/Provider Contracting

    I worked at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good working conditions, excellent benefits, reputable and trustworthy

    Cons

    Not much. Was not happy with my position for my own personal issues.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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