Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

www.bcbsaz.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Reviews

Updated January 13, 2015
Updated January 13, 2015
42 Reviews
2.0
42 Reviews
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Richard L. Boals
28 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    good place to work

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

    I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There is room for advancement, great benefits and good pay.

    Cons

    Certain departments have poor management which leads to morale issues.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Professional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Professional in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Professional in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

    Pros

    Trainer was very nice and informative

    Cons

    Professional staff in the area I worked were mean

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEO does not have a handle on what is really happening with the behavior of Professional Medical staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    Difficult work/life balance with vendor dependencies in IT. Pressure to succeed with defective software.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    On-site gym, generous compensation (including bonus and benefits), on-site cafeteria, flexibility to work from home when needed and friendly coworkers.

    Cons

    Vendor unreliability made it impossible to run a family and commit to the work efforts needs to accomplish projects. BCBSAZ employees were often on-call and unable to plan in advance or indulge in work-free vacation days. Enormous pressure from upper management to produce results created low morale and hopelessness. Responsibilities were often ambiguous resulting in gloom among individual contributors. Unrealistic expectations placed upon employees and contractors to compensate for vendor tardiness or defects.Vendor delays prevented cross training efforts from succeeding introducing several bottlenecks and single-point-of-failure scenarios.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Assign an employee to vendor management holding that role accountable for the delivery of consistent and punctual builds. Refrain from chastising and punishing employees and contractors for untimely or underdeveloped products due to their lack of authority to hold the vendor responsible for their internal issues. Expand team and provide clearly communicated roles and expectations to reduce contempt among peers and promote a heathy team environment. Allow time for proper documentation and cross training to reduce risk.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    Worst company and leadership I've ever experienced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

    Pros

    Covered parking, cafeteria with healthy options, ok salaries

    Cons

    Leadership in IT is by far the worst I have ever faced in my career. The CIO is horrific and rotten to the core. The IT organization has been allowed to fester for years and people are miserable and fearful. BCBSAZ is truly a deeply damaged company and culture that can only recover if major management changes are made. Some areas are ok but anything in technology? Forget it....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider getting people who need to retire out. Get the CIO out and start to rebuild a company that was once an admirable employer in the valley.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    CIO MUST GO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst II in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst II in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you want to make minimal to no impact, if you are a follower, if you want to halt innovation and progress, if you want to sit on the sidelines for 30 years and collect a paycheck and pad your pension, if you want to go through the motions, do exactly as you’re told and never question authority, then you can slowly climb your way up the corporate ladder and be a VP of Application Development. Note: In this position you must also become adept at blaming others for everything and never take responsibility or show any type of accountability even though you’ve been there for 30 years and should at least have come up with at least 1 viable and repeatable process for anything. Anything. Anything at all.

    Cons

    The IT executives are laughable and are an embarrassment to a professional organization. If they were to apply for their current positions by today’s standards, they would not even be considered for an interview. Their idea of management is to pass the buck to an understaffed team of contractors and keep their hands clean of any wrong-doing. Fundamentals and common sense do not exist in IT.

    The CIO expects the IT organization to run at 110% with 30% staff. Directors leave, managers leave, project managers leave, there is no direction or management in key roles, yet there is an expectation to operate at high levels. All responsibilities fall to less qualified workers. Anyone with talent has been run off for trying to inject common sense and reasonability. The best and brightest people are contractors who do not stick around long.

    This company took on a large system integration, similar to an SAP or Oracle, however the CIO felt that it was not necessary to have 1 single subject matter expert or any additional staff dedicated to the integration. The CIO overspent in the millions, the integrations are always delayed, the business customer is not happy, and the system integration is a monumental failure overall. In addition, the system BCBS AZ is integrating is owned by a friend and former colleague of the CIO; which obviously serves the CIO’s personal agenda. How a company can allow a CIO to bumble through major system integrations is beyond me. Absurd. In any other professional organization with a competent board, the CIO would be shown the door. Not in this case, especially when you are proficient in the blame game! Cheers to the CIO for avoiding any responsibility or accountability whatsoever!

    Executive Management manages upward and takes care of each other. There is no succession plan, unless executives promoting each other to different positions and handing out newly created titles is their idea of succession. BCBS AZ Executive Management Mission Statement: get rewarded for laying low, not disagreeing with anything, and disappearing when there is any tough problem to solve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe we have to spell it out because the other 30+ reviews weren't clear enough. Hire a competent CIO. Hire intelligent development executives who possess IT knowledge from at least this century and who are not pre-disposed with grandmothering and padding pensions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    I plan on expanding my career with this company.

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

    I have been working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona full-time

    Pros

    After working all over the valley with many companies under the sun, I like BCBSAZ the best. The benefits are nice and the branding of the company is profound.

    Cons

    I believe more employees should take pride in their work rather than being sloppy. Hold some integrity and retain knowledge. It's best to get the job done right the first time rather over and over again correcting the issue.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My boss is great. No complaints overall, however, I do not interact with the political aspect of the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Highly Arrogant and Incompetent IT Executive Management

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

    I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    401K Matching, 2 of the 3 buildings are from this century, friendly security guards

    Cons

    It was very depressing to read all the negative comments regarding BCBSAZ IT Executive management prior to writing this review. The sad part is, those disparaging comments regarding IT Executive management are 100% accurate. Even more sad is, the thought that no changes will be made to IT Executive Management in the face of enormous IT failures that waste millions of dollars and cause many good employees that represent the future of BCBSAZ to leave. An unbelievable amount of good people rapidly exited the company after witnessing the arrogance and losing complete faith in a highly incompetent IT Executive staff.

    The BCBSAZ IT management is inept in root cause analysis and preventative measures. The management operates in an “issue of the day” mentality; scrambling and patching issues with no short term and long term mitigation or continuity strategies. The IT Executive staff selectively manages; only addresses the issues that they believe they can solve, which are never root cause or fundamental issues. Sad to say, but the IT executive management is just not good enough for today’s IT demands.

    A long timer "executive" that runs development knows nothing about Application Development and is highly ineffective in the position. This is a new era of technology; some people are way past their prime and only hurt the company by hanging around padding their pensions.

    Another "executive" in the development area believes that problems will magically disappear, yet offers no reasonable or attainable strategies. Management simply has no clue, and this is the CIO’s fault.

    The ancient Executives above the C's and VP's simply do not care about budget overages and project latencies for 2 reasons: 1. They are so old, out of touch, and way past retirement age that they just don’t care. I personally overheard 3 individuals past retirement age state that they were “hanging around” to pad their pension. That was disturbing. 2. Executive IT management creatively blames budget overages and project delivery latencies on staff turnover, governmental requirements, and the ever changing healthcare market demands.

    In a previous post, someone mentioned the ‘golden handcuffs’ scenario where employees are bound to their positions in fear that they will lose their job, but stay to collect benefits and bonuses and perhaps do not have any options for other employment. That is a correct assessment. Executive IT management is unbelievably arrogant in indoctrinating this belief into its workers, however those that can leave, do leave. In a previous post it is mentioned that BCBS AZ employees probably wrote the positive comments to counteract all the negative comments. This is absolutely true.

    The CIO believes that a fear-based approach to managing that extends working into nights and weekends for the IT staff creates a healthy and productive work environment and culture. The CIO fosters an environment where middle managers are understaffed and over committed. The CIO seems to think she is a leader, but her subordinates only agree with her out of ignorance, fear and cowardice.
    Leaders lead by example and exemplary work; not burdening the company through poor choices.
    Leaders make rational decisions based on facts and statistics; they do not jump to conclusions and make abrupt allegations without first knowing the full story.
    Leaders do what’s best for the company, not what’s best for one’s personal agenda and personal gain.

    Currently, an outside firm is investigating the CIO’s dealings with a 3rd party software vendor called Colibrium Partners. The COO of Colibrium Partners and the CIO of BCBSAZ have a long standing relationship that goes back a long way to former employees of the same software company. This relationship led to the BCBSAZ CIO purchasing software from Colibrium Partners that, over the course of 3+ years of maligned implementations, continually runs late, is significantly over budget, and is highly unusable. No one in the organization seems to have a problem with this relationship that is an obvious conflict of interest. I would say that executives in the CIO chain do not say anything about this and are so delicate as not to upset the system for their own personal interest rather than do what is right, but I am convinced that they are simply totally ignorant and oblivious to anything sensible and possess 0% business skills and knowledge. This gross mismanagement by IT Executive management has cost BCBSAZ millions of dollars in project overages as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in HR personnel departure expenses. As a result, no one in the organization that deals with IT has faith in IT’s abilities and the decisions of the CIO. Hopefully this investigation will lead to her eminent firing earlier than expected.

    There is no strong program and project management strategy and vision. Projects often cannibalize each other and prioritization is foreign concept. IT Executives ask everyone in the organization to make concessions and sacrifices in personal time and depleted system functionality. When IT finally delivers a product or solution to their business partners, it is late, it is over budget, and it is poor quality. To make matters worse, IT Executives have the audacity to report to the board that they met deadlines. Meanwhile their business partners are left with a low quality ineffective system and increased expenditures to account for the necessary manual workarounds.
    This poor execution is a direct result of the lack of strategic, tactical, resource, and contingency planning; a must for any organization and every executive. IT is simply a poorly run department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    IT Executives must go.
    They are not impact players.
    They are not difference makers.
    They are not leaders.
    They are not trusted.
    They are not respected.
    They are not good enough.

    They are arrogant.
    They are unethical.
    They are selfish.

    Don’t take my word for it – ask any former IT employee; there are enough of them in Arizona that recognized the odd incestual culture and abruptly left. Look at the inordinate amount of negative comments regarding IT Executive Management on Glassdoor itself for BCBS AZ. It’s pretty clear what the problem is.

    It’s been a 7+ year tenure for the CIO, and it simply hasn’t progressed as the board would like. The board is tired of hearing excuses. 5 years is long enough for anyone to prove themselves; the CIO just hasn’t done enough, is not good enough, and is simply not the person for the job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    I love working here! Great corporate culture.

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

    I have been working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent leadership with a visionary CEO. The company tries to live its mission, vision, and values. Highly engaged workforce. Great benefits and competitive compensation. Teleworking opportunities are great and help with work-life balance.

    Cons

    ACA and industry changes have made the company leaner and more performance focused. These changes have put more pressure on certain departments and jobs. The uncertainty has made planning difficult, but a strong Board and CEO have stepped up to meet the challenge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to engage employees. Treating employees well will always pay long-term dividends.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 12 people found this helpful  

    Typical band aid fix - For IT

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Service Professional in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - IT Service Professional in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    For IT workers at Townley, The Guard is friendly, after that, nothing - absolutely nothing. Your day starts off with an agonizingly slow elevator ride, then chest pains set in and then the day gets progressively worse.

    Cons

    I was reading the previous post and it honestly looks like an attempt from a VP to boost the rating on this site. The corporate culture at Blue Cross is poor at best. You can tell it's bogus because it doesn't address anything specific. It was probably written by the CIO herself. Blue cross management doesn't address and resolve problems, they simply fantasize that problems don't exist. Whoever left that post provided a perfect example of the upper management thought process which is not much. The CEO doesn't have a vision. Shoot, he doesn't have a clue. He mentally checked out long time ago. He is one of the many waiting to retire. Laughable!!!!!!!!!! Outside contractors and consultants consider BCBSAZ IT a joke.

    ********Advice to anyone thinking about applying here, talk to someone who works here and get an honest insider perspective. I know from experience that the negative views posted here are spot on!!!!!!!!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a day in the life of a manager at a successful company and write the CIO and CEO an essay on how to run an IT department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 11 people found this helpful  

    Great benefits and pay but horrible culture and especially in technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    This company offers a lot of benefits that are hard to find anywhere else. This includes pension, employment contracts and corporate vehicles for local travel. Salary is highly competitive and likely the reason the company retains people. The culture leads to negative attitudes so what you have are long term employees with negative attitudes wearing golden handcuffs. The cost of medical benefits is competitive and there is some flexibility to work remote but no official policy unless you work from home full time.

    Cons

    There is no work life balance and this is partly due to an IT organization that is run too lean but mainly due to poor leadership. The CIO works continuously and sets this expectation with the entire IT department. People are managed by fear and intimidation. Some managers have lied to avoid humiliation and repercussions of making mistakes. The fear also promotes unethical behavior. Having your email read by unauthorized workers paranoid of what is happening in the environment could be expected. The CIO tends to manage upward to avoid true insight into what is happening within the ranks and she can and will retaliate if scorned. She is highly manipulative. I would strongly recommend avoiding a position with this company. Good talent who could have made a difference was pushed out or forced to retire and this has been a pattern for years. People who care have moved on and those that have no options are the ones that remain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The CEO and Executive VP leadership needs to deeply engage with IT and begin to make changes starting with the CIO. This is a local company who has earned an embarrasing reputation as an employer but deserved as a result of taking no action. Someone needs to read these boards and start thinking harder about how to make the difficult changes that are needed to turn around the reputation of the company. If not, it will be impossible to attract and retain talent. Bring back the employees that left as a result of being driven out by the CIO and drive her out the door.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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