Blue Shield Of California

  www.blueshieldca.com
  www.blueshieldca.com

Blue Shield Of California Reviews

Updated October 19, 2014
Updated October 19, 2014
278 Reviews
3.0
278 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Blue Shield Of California President & CEO Paul Markovich
Paul Markovich
79 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Decent work life balance (be sure you set this expectation early - don't be reactive) (in 28 reviews)

  • As with many large companies there are good benefits as well as some really good people (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • There is no work/life balance, many people are essentially doing the jobs of two people (in 16 reviews)

  • Constantly reorganizing; upper management has no clear vision for the future (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Blue Shield, not your father's Blue plan

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Blue Shield Of California full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    MIssion is to make health insurance affordable
    Company is growing fast and there are many opportunities
    Company gives back any profit in excess of 2% to members or the community
    Not-for-profit means that many employees are here for the company's mission, not just for the job

    Cons

    Transforming health care is very hard work so the culture is changing to be performance oriented -- don't come here to coast in your career.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Management support wonderful and want you to be successful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous in El Dorado Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous in El Dorado Hills, CA

    I worked at Blue Shield Of California full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There is always room to grow and be successful and creative. Good benefits and management always supportive

    Cons

    Pay to start not the best.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Ethical company with a mission

    • 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 Shield Of California full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company mission is taken very seriously and is motivating for employees. New leadership is more transparent than before. Strategy seems ambitious but appropriate. Work-life balance is possible in some areas. Overall, management is fair and disfunctionalality and politics are minimal. There are some good, quality people who work here.

    Cons

    Some area do not have work-life balance and management is not in touch enough to know which areas struggle with this. Salary levels are average but bonus program helps offset lack of stock options. Benefit subsidies are surprising below average for a health plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get in touch with what is going on in various departments to better understand the varying levels of work loads.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great coworkers, but the culture needs some work

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

    I worked at Blue Shield Of California full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I worked with many amazing people here. Very intelligent and hard working, and many would go out of their way to help others when needed. The company has a strong vision and a great life-work balance. I usually only worked 8-5.

    Cons

    It is hard to move up in this company. The compensation is so-so and promotions could be better as well. The company has been trying to improve its culture, but I think it has a long way to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep working on the culture. Improvements have been made, but more need to happen.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's just okay, and has the potential to be great

    • 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 Shield Of California full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Not for profit/mission driven organization; "2% pledge" - returning profit/income in excess of 2% returned to customers or invested in Blue Shield's foundation; embraces health care reform
    - A variety of locations across the state, and generally, depending upon the role, there is flexibility about where your "home" office is
    - The organization is getting much more comfortable with telecommuting and managing work schedules more flexibly
    - If you're a self-starter, self-directed, you can get a lot done - not a lot of micro management
    - Organization is very comfortable outsourcing functions/capabilities - not a lot of ego and insistence that "we can build everything ourselves"
    - Good benefits, PTO, etc., and very progressive wellness programs/incentives; on site gyms, healthy foods available at the cafes, at a reasonable price; supports diversity in the workplace

    Cons

    - For all of its focus on its mission and getting Californians access to healthcare, there is not enough skilled leadership to steer this ship to achieving those objectives. With the executive team, there were a lot of changes throughout the organization. Having an all new leadership team managing business in a time of extraordinary change is certainly proving challenging. Pair that with an ill-defined culture and organizational norms - and you end up with group of people from the top to the bottom of the organization who don't always know how to work together
    - The strategy and planning process is chaotic, constantly changing and managed in a top down fashion. By the time people are bought into the strategy they've been served, the strategy/plan changes, and the team is expected to get on board as if the new plan was the plan all along. Senior leadership develops these strategies pretty much at the office level and above (with support from Big 5 consulting firms) - with generally little to no interactions with team members who are closest to the work
    - Because the organization doesn't have a predominant central location - relationship building is done primarily over the phone, negatively impacting the speed of relationship building that is necessary for a team to function optimally (and again, paired with the fledgling culture the company is trying to build, it's all the more trying)
    - Beginning in late 2012, throughout 2013, and to some extent in 2014, Blue Shield has gone through very profound organizational changes, especially in Sales, IT and HR. Regardless if these changes were good, bad, or neutral, given the immature leadership team and the chaotic strategy and planning process, people are justifiably nervous about their own job security - which proves distracting and manifests itself in defensiveness, CYA and managing up - none of which add value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Stabilize the organization and strategy - give people a chance to accomplish some things, and build on those accomplishments. Just because one part of the organization is struggling, doesn't mean you need to drop all the other work you're doing
    - Get better at the basics; innovate sparingly in the meantime. If a customer's claims aren't getting paid, or the phones aren't answered, they won't care if you have the coolest web site or mobile app
    - Focus on preventing problems, and not being good at fixing problems
    - Stop thinking you can automate every process as a means of driving cost out - until you know how to do those processes the right way, you have no business trying to automate them; start automation on an incremental basis - don't boil the ocean
    - Develop strategy in partnership with team members who are doing the work, and do so across functional teams

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    BSC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intermediate Business Analyst in El Dorado Hills, CA
    Current Employee - Intermediate Business Analyst in El Dorado Hills, CA

    I have been working at Blue Shield Of California full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good company and competitive compensation

    Cons

    IT Department is incompetent and lacking in technological hardware for employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit Micromanaging your employees and they'd be more productive.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Wonderful Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Commercial/Medicare Risk Adjustment in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Commercial/Medicare Risk Adjustment in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Blue Shield Of California as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    People are very very nice

    Cons

    Nothing that I know of

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check-in with the lower levels more!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Ethical, great health benefits, and interesting work

    • 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 Shield Of California

    Pros

    good benefits and helpful higher management

    Cons

    the culture is very quiet and boring in the office

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    have some more team building strategies and encourage lunches with co-workers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Constantly racing to keep up with minimal communication and large backlogs. Male dominance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in El Dorado Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in El Dorado Hills, CA

    I worked at Blue Shield Of California full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good staff people with experience and content knowledge.

    Cons

    Very little team collaboration, as managers tend to act as dictators, then wonder why they don't have independent thinkers. The system is very complex and requires maximum collaboration to be successful. Attempts to involve people in LEAN Quality processes have been done as a sham. Decisions are not delegated and input is not sought.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train managers how to develop and coach a team based organization and rate their behavior on teamwork effectiveness. Managers need to learn how to utilize inclusive approaches to decision making. Some managers just need to be replaced because they have no sensitivity or concern for employees, especially toward women who can't join them on the tennis courts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    A mess fit for a nightmare

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

    I worked at Blue Shield Of California full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free parking for all employees (even contractors!).

    Cons

    What a disaster of an organization!
    BSC operates in California but outsources its call centers to vendors in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines (three locations).
    The organization is mainly made up of call center employees who are almost entirely Hispanic or African American. The HQ in San Francisco's financial district is largely comprised of Caucasians. Walking through their call centers in California is an odd experience: Caucasians in management and high salary jobs on one side of an aisle and in offices and then on the other side of the aisle, Hispanics and African Americans doing the call center work. The hate by the latter for the former is palpable.

    The organization has a culture of keeping people down, keeping people quiet, and keeping people from enjoying their work. Excessive oversight, micromanaging and ostracism are key tools used by management. Arrogance by management is excessive to the point of in your face as a matter of routine.

    Paul Markovich, CEO, uses company employee forums to blast people outside BSC who complain that BSC's rates are too high, that BSC's services are inferior, and that the health insurance market in California is not sufficiently competitive. Markovich recently explained to employees that BSC's luxury box at the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara was a perfectly defensible use of company funds even though millions of Californian's continue to lack health care insurance. Markovich also routinely sends out e-mails to employees imploring them to contribute to BSC political action committee and even goes so far as to recommend (based on an employee's position) specific amounts that employees give to the political action committee per pay period.

    The organization routinely writes off hundreds of millions of dollars due to projects that are failures or run over budget wildly. The place is over run by armies of outside consultants and managers hide in their offices or "work from home" most of the time. Ineptitude is a trait that BSC places great value upon in managers. BSC is a gravy train if you will continually ingratiate yourself to management and be willing to essentially place your career on hold. BSC has little awareness of their customers, patients, and even less concern for their care. BSC is about money, power and ego.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace all management and the board of directors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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