Blue Shield Of California

  www.blueshieldca.com
  www.blueshieldca.com
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Blue Shield Of California Reviews

Updated September 28, 2014
Updated September 28, 2014
271 Reviews
3.0
271 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Blue Shield Of California President & CEO Paul Markovich
Paul Markovich
74 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Decent work life balance (be sure you set this expectation early - don't be reactive) (in 27 reviews)

  • As with many large companies there are good benefits as well as some really good people (in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • There is no work/life balance, many people are essentially doing the jobs of two people (in 15 reviews)

  • Senior management seems to never be on the same page; high silo environment (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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 for less than a 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
  2.  

    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 for 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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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 for more than a 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
  6.  

    Stifling place to work

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

    I worked at Blue Shield Of California full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work life balance, compensation was decent. Gym on site for employees. Support for getting fit.

    Cons

    Still and old-style company where towing the line and sucking up are the priority. Very top-heavy, with little room for growth or creativity at work. Directors and up work 50-60 hour workweeks but they don't seem to really enjoy their work... it's just a compulsion. Work is not "fun", on top of that, no real work seems to get done until there is a fire to put out - then it's all hands on deck to make the ship not sink. The rest of the time workers go in circles answering emails and sitting in meetings.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The explicit stated goal of becoming #1 sized health insurance company in California isn't inspiring... it's business as usual.
    Revisit your HR policies, the dept doesn't know how to recruit talent, and your company doesn't actually support talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    I did not like working here because the environment was not a very pleasant one.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  El Dorado, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in El Dorado, CA

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

    Pros

    Sick leave, vacation and 401K benefits are good. Flexible start and stop times are also good.

    Cons

    The Company had a lot of meetings where nothing came out of them and no follow-thru about what was discussed. A lot of unhappy employees and back-stabbing going on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give back some of the Company perks like gift cards, years with the Company gifts, etc.

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Culture is different depending on the area of the business

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blue Shield Of California

    Pros

    work from home, creativity is valued

    Cons

    long hours, unclear job roles and expectations, unfair promotion practices in some areas

  9.  

    Good life balance, great place to work

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

    I have been working at Blue Shield Of California full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice environment, flexibility, nice people to work with.

    Cons

    Too much depends on vendor, sometime it's hard to get things done.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Go for it. I would be willing to work there again.

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

    I have been working at Blue Shield Of California as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Overall, A good work environment with a good salary and conveniently located near BART

    Cons

    There is some political maneuvering, but I did not have to deal with too much of it. The environment is a little sclerotic...It can take a long time to get things done. IT needs a significant amount of lead time (Bureaucracy). Naturally, there is a significant concern regarding personal data, but they need to balance the overall need / requirement to maintain data security, while moving projects forward--This is probably the weakest aspect of this company. Although I was able to limit the number of meetings that I attended, I knew some people on some days who were triple booked throughout most of the day. I also found myself in the position of reporting numbers, which did not make sense for reporting purposes to make valid decisions upon....It was as if people had to deliver reports or numbers, which in turn made people do a significant amount of extraneous work to deliver the invalid information which was requested....Bad data in...Bad conclusions and decisions made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is aware of the IT problem, and they know they have to do better in terms of managing budgets. They have consultants reviewing the situation and making recommendations, but the ship will turn slowly

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good insurance, horrible place to work despite work/life balance

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

    I have been working at Blue Shield Of California full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Mission of company, PTO is generous and solid benefits. W/L balance is great but that's only because there is no oversight into what really is getting done.

    Cons

    Awful management makes terrible decisions that effect daily work environment and ability to get real work done. Any true leadership or new ideas get met with blank stares and overall negativity. Under performers often praised due toe their obvious ability to "play the game" instead of the true value they bring to the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop making decision based on personal feelings and practice what you preach.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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