Premera Blue Cross

  www.premera.com
  www.premera.com

Premera Blue Cross Reviews

Updated December 13, 2014
Updated December 13, 2014
153 Reviews
2.9
153 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Premera Blue Cross President, CEO, and Director Gubby Barlow
Gubby Barlow
95 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's a good place to work if work / life balance is important to you (in 25 reviews)

  • Some good benefits, nothing exceptional though (in 13 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 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great company in benefits and salary however they have no empathy for their employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The other employees and immediate supervisors and leads were all great. Get above that level they are not real.

    Cons

    No flexibility in management at all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up and smell the roses here what is your turn over rate. I think it is very high.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's still the 20th century somewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - IT Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Location, location, location. Showers/locker rooms. It's horrible that the only thing that is great here appeals to people who are doing something other than working.

    Cons

    See the Pros. Also management is out of touch and is allowed to protect feifdoms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue. Invest in technology and stop enabling lifers who measure their success in the numbers of drones who report to them. I actually had a VP argue not to put something online because it might drive a few calls from those who had questions.

    This company is an obese antelope who is wallowing around on the beach at the waterhole. It is an argument for socialized medicine. At least the government is accountable to taxpayers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    The company itself is good, the Management team is not

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Spokane, WA

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, flex schedule, stability, nice campus

    Cons

    Very closed company as far as who you know. Very tenured management, too rigid. Integrity is non existent, will say that you are great and have a façade to appease associates. Management is very clicky. You will see people talk behind each others back, as if it is the promoted culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the management and get new innovative people. Get rid of the mentality that we have always done it this way. Also get rid of the tenured people that don't change. Just because you have been there 25 years doesn't mean that you are still good at the job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Why I love working here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior ECommerce Product Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Senior ECommerce Product Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Every 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 ManagementAdvice

    With 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good leaders, challenging times

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

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great 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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Inflexible, Draconian IT process and procedures, A miserable place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pretty good salary and benefits. They are not as good as they were a few years back though. Continually scaling these back for the newer employees. There are some really great people working there.

    Cons

    Starting a few years ago, the IT management fell in LOVE with painfully elaborate, laborious, bureaucratic procedure that pretty much takes up your whole day. If you miss any jot or tittle you need a direct CIO REPORT to get your work through. They call 'blackouts" (periods where NOTHING can be moved to production) at the drop of a hat. Productivity and morale is very low.

    IT management makes a great show of promoting "innovation". Most of us just laugh. How is innovation possible in such a culture?

    They are making a great show of implementing LEAN and agile processes, How you reconcile these methods with whole infrastructure departments full of dedicated bureaucrats.

    It is PROFOUNDLY painful to work there. SO why do I? I have good reason to endure it for now. You don't have to.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Current IT management appears to be the problem. Middle IT management do not make waves or they are gone!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Typical Numbers Company - Employees are treated as numbers and not as people - So Sad...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Individual Customer Service in Spokane Valley, WA
    Former Employee - Individual Customer Service in Spokane Valley, WA

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Easy Commute Location and Generally Great Co-Workers. There is really nothing else positive to add about Premera but its location being conveniently located off the highway and the co-workers are either stuck up kids or very nice.

    Cons

    Too Much Expected Of You For Very Little Pay - For A Health Insurance Company, The Benefits Aren't The Greatest - 401K Isn't Even A Company Match (now that is a very cheap corporation for you!) - Exceptionally High Stressful Job - Managers Have Their Favorites And If You Aren't One Of Them, You'd Better Watch Yourself!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop Playing Favorites - Every Employee Deserves To Be Treated Equally!!

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

    It's Better Than Unemployment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Some nice people, team building activities off the phones during holidays, health benefits, discounted Orca Bus Pass, and training is over a month, however there is so much to learn this training only covers a fraction of what is needed to start in the position. .

    Cons

    Micro management from both superiors and over-whelmed call coaches, the move away from quality customer service, changing company policies regarding metrics, poor support from leadership, limited parking, expensive meal choices at café, lack of a gym on campus to match the healthy lifestyle they claim to support.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at the high turnover rate of employees as evidence, but the disconnect between quality customer service and getting through quick calls with 100% accuracy is a major issue.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Review

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

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross

    Pros

    Nice folks to work with.

    Cons

    Mgt doesn't walk their own talk.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good place if you stick it out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Internal Consultant in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Internal Consultant in Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    lots of job opportunities
    nice campus at MLT

    Cons

    top heavy organization
    HR dept a mockery

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    promote and reward the talent in house

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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