Working at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield | Glassdoor

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Overview

Owings Mills, MD
5001 to 10000 employees
Company - Private
Insurance Carriers
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health care insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region, serving nearly 3.4 million members in the Maryland, District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia area. Every day, we help people make decisions that will positively impact their lives ... Read more

Mission: The mission of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is to provide health benefit services of value to customers across the region comprised of Maryland and the National Capital Area.

Company Updates

  • Our associates volunteered their time earlier this week to honor & remember the lives lost on 9/11 with a day of community service. From packing nutritious lunches for seniors served by local food banks in D.C. to revitalizing Johnston Square in East Baltimore we’re thankful for everyone who came out to give back to our community. #CareFirstCares

  • CareFirst is officially named one of the Best Places to Work for recent grads by Symplicity! It’s an honor to be selected and recognized as a fun and welcoming environment for today’s entry-level employees. If you’re a graduating senior or a recent graduate that’s interested in joining our team learn more at #CareFirstCareers #BPTWclub

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CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – Why Work For Us?

Fact Sheet

In its 77th year of service, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a not-for-profit, non-stock health services company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and administrative services to individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and portions of Northern Virginia. CareFirst is the parent company of CareFirst of Maryland, Inc., and Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. CareFirst, Inc., and its affiliates are governed by a Board of Directors and special statutes regulating the company's business in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.

The CareFirst organization:
  • Is the largest health care insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region, serving 3.4 million members.
  • Employs approximately 5,000 associates and contractors in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.
  • Has the largest provider network in the region, with more than 80 percent of the region’s health care providers participating in one or more networks.
  • Has launched the nation’s largest Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program of its kind.
  • Serves more than 577,000 members in the Federal Employees Health Program (FEP) – the largest FEP enrollment in the nation.
  • Nationally recognized as a ‘Best in Blue’ insurer for providing stellar customer service for 16 consecutive years for D.C. FEP members and nine consecutive years for Maryland FEP members.
  • Contributed $57 million in 2013 to community programs designed to increase health care access, affordability, safety and quality throughout Maryland and the National Capital Area.
  • CareFirst wins 2013, 2014 and 2015 award for Most Ethical Company.

Company Mission

The mission of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is to provide health benefit services of value to customers across the region comprised of Maryland and the National Capital Area. To fulfill this mission, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield commits to:

  • Offer a broad array of quality, innovative insurance plans and administrative services that are affordable and accessible to our customers;

  • Fairly address the needs of customers in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate;

  • Conduct business responsibly as a non-profit health service plan, to ensure the plan’s long-term financial viability and growth;

  • Collaborate with the community to advance health care effectiveness and quality;

  • Support public and private efforts to meet needs of persons lacking health insurance;

  • Foster health systems integration and health care cost containment to benefit the people in areas we serve, and

  • Promote respect, fairness and opportunity for our associates.

Financial Results (Year End 2013)
  • Revenue: $7.6 Billion

  • Net Income: $82 Million

  • Medical Care Spending: $6.4 Billion


undefinedCareFirst Code of Ethical Business Conduct and Compliance

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is committed to the highest standards of business ethics and integrity as well as strict observance and compliance with the laws and regulations governing its business operations.

Our Code of Ethical Business Conduct and Compliance is the foundation for the Compliance & Ethics program. It sets the performance standard for ethical business practices for all of our associates, board members and business partners.

The code is our guidebook for living our values. 

CareFirst Values

Our values serve as the pathway for all we do. They guide our company’s dedication to maximizing our community’s access to high quality, cost effective health care services.

Customer First

  • We see ourselves through the eyes of our customers.
  • We deliver services that anticipate our customers’ needs.


  • We act with unquestionable ethics.
  • We communicate openly, directly and timely.

Personal Accountability for Excellence

  • We take individual ownership for achieving high performance.
  • We demonstrate a bias for action.

One Company, One Team

  • We align our decisions and actions for the greater good.
  • We collaborate and support others to achieve results.


  • We demonstrate leadership in our markets, our communities, and the health care industry.
  • We each set an example of high ethical standards in performing our duties.



  • 1934 Group Hospitalization, Inc. is formed by a hospital association in Washington.
  • 1937 In Maryland, a group of 15 hospitals in Baltimore agree to participate in Associated Hospital Service of Baltimore and begin using the Blue Cross service mark.
  • 1942 Group Hospitalization, Inc., is sanctioned to use the Blue Cross service mark.
  • 1947 Associated Hospital Service of Baltimore changes its name to Maryland Hospital Service in recognition of its statewide presence to provide health services to more than 500,000 members.
  • 1948 A physicians group called Medical Service of the District of Columbia is founded. Two years later, the Maryland Medical Service, Inc. is incorporated and licensed to use the Blue Shield name.
  • 1951 Group Hospitalization, Inc. becomes a fully participating member of the Blue Cross system. The following year, Medical Service of the District of Columbia is authorized to use the Blue Shield service mark.
  • 1957 Maryland Hospital Services, Inc. enrollment reaches one million members.
  • 1959 "Over 65" program introduced to provide limited coverage to persons age 65 and over not previously insured.
  • 1960 Group Hospitalization, Inc. becomes the operations center for administering and maintaining medical records for newly created Federal Employee Program.
  • 1963 Maryland Blues Plans introduce a "Senior Citizen" health care plan. Three years later, the Washington Blues Plans begin offering complementary Medicare coverage called Blue Cross 65 and Blue Shield 65.
  • 1969 Maryland Hospital Service, Inc. (Blue Cross) and Maryland Medical Service (Blue Shield) change their names to Maryland Blue Cross and Maryland Blue Shield, respectively.
  • 1969 Group Hospitalization (Blue Cross) and Medical Services (Blue Shield) moved to new location at 550 12th Street SW. In 1971, the Maryland Blues consolidated several offices by moving them to a central location at 700 E. Joppa Road in Towson.
  • 1972 Maryland Blue Cross introduced a health maintenance program and offers the services of pre-paid group practice health plans as an alternative to traditional health care coverage.
  • 1980 FreeState Health Plan created by the Maryland Plan to contract with independent health care organizations to provide members services. Two years later, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland acquires Columbia Medical Plan, the state's largest and most successful HMO.
  • 1984 CapitalCare, Inc. is created by the Washington Area Plan as an independent practice HMO. Blue Cross of Maryland, Inc. and Blue Shield of Maryland, Inc. form one company -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, Inc. (BCBSMD)
  • 1985 Group Hospitalization, Inc. and Medical Services of the District of Columbia merged under the new name Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI). The company adopts a new trade name: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area (BCBSNCA).
  • 1987 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the National Capital Area introduces its first Preferred Provider Network, an option between traditional indemnity coverage and HMO-based plans.
  • 1989 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maryland moves corporate offices to Owings Mills.
  • 1991 Maryland Plan acquires CareFirst Health Plan and Potomac Health Plan.
  • 1992 Maryland Plan acquires Delmarva Health Plan, an Eastern Shore HMO. In Washington, BCBSMD becomes the subject of U.S. Senate examining Blues Plans throughout the U.S. with financial problems. The inquiry reveals patterns of executive mismanagement leading to the resignation of several senior executives.
  • 1993 William L. Jews is selected as new President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • 1996 Washington Area Plan, after major reorganization to improve efficiency, pushes surplus up 150 percent in three years, ranks first in performance among all Blues Plans in second quarter and begins to explore joint ventures with Maryland Plan.
  • 1997 Maryland and Washington Blues announce intention to combine operations under a new holding company, CareFirst, Inc.
  • 1998 Business combination gains regulatory approval, in January two companies go forward as one under new name CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
  • 1999 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield ends first year of combined operations with $3.9 billion in revenues, $75.7 million in net income, and reserves of $472 million. Total enrollment is approximately 2.5 million, reflecting a net increase during 1998 of 142,000 members.
  • 2000 In March 2000, CareFirst enters an affiliation with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, adding more than 200,000 new members and expanding the company's regional service area throughout the mid-Atlantic area. Membership surpasses three million. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield crosses the threshold of the new millennium at full stride.
  • 2001 CareFirst, in dramatic move, announces intention to convert to for-profit status and be acquired by WellPoint Health Networks of Thousand Oaks, CA, one of the nation's largest health care companies.
  • 2002 BCBSD in a cooperative effort with CareFirst, launches Personal Comp, a health benefits plan for individuals.
  • 2003 The Maryland Insurance Commissioner rejects the CareFirst-WellPoint plan for conversion to for-profit and subsequent merger. The Maryland General Assembly subsequently enacts "reform" to reaffirm CareFirst's non-profit status and bar for five years any attempt to become a for-profit company. Headquarters for CareFirst operations in the Washington, D.C. area move to Union Plaza. Company revenue tops $7 billion.
  • 2004 CareFirst Board of Directors reconstitutes in accordance with Maryland General Assembly mandate. Membership growth pushes total enrollment to 3.3 million. Company introduces CareEssentials, an innovative disease and care management strategy integrating prevention, utilization, disease management and case management. Revised mission statement defines broader role in community health care.
  • 2005 Unveils CareFirst Commitment, a $92 million initiative focused on increasing affordability, access to care, patient quality and safety and diversity.
  • 2006 In September 2006, CareFirst complies with Delaware Insurance Commissioner Denn's order to end its six-year affiliation with BCBSD.
  • 2006 November 2, CareFirst announces departure of CEO, William L. Jews.
  • 2006 November 2, David D. Wolf named interim President and CEO.
  • 2007 September 28, Chester "Chet" Burrell named CareFirst President and CEO.
  • 2008 February 15, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley lauds CareFirst for committing $4 million to close senior prescription drug doughnut hole.
  • 2010 CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield launches HealthyBlue product, an innovative, new portfolio of health plans, designed to foster and reward healthy lifestyles and promote collaboration between patients and their primary care physicians.
  • 2010 September 20, CareFirst receives regulatory approval from the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) to launch its Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program, becoming the first insurer in Maryland to gain approval for a “single payer” medical home initiative.
  • 2011 More than 3,000 providers now participating in innovative Patient-Centered Medical Home, making the program the largest of its type in the nation.
  • 2011 CareFirst contributed $51 million to community programs as part of the CareFirst Commitment initiative designed to increase accessibility, affordability and quality of health care throughout the service region.
  • 2012 CareFirst launches its Safety Net Health Center Initiative, giving more than $8.5 million in grants to 12 safety net health centers in MD, D.C. and VA, to implement medical home and care coordination programs.
  • 2012 CareFirst announced that nearly 60 percent of eligible primary care physicians and nurse practitioners earned increased reimbursements for their 2011 performance in CareFirst's PCMH program.
  • 2012 CareFirst breaks record for Greater Baltimore Heart Walk, raising over $500,000 for AHA regional events.
  • 2012 CareFirst contributed more than $57 million to fund community health programs.
  • 2012 CareFirst received a $24 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) designed to serve 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland.
  • 2013 CareFirst appoints new board chairs, including Linda Cropp of CFI board and Joseph Hall of CFMI.
  • 2014 CareFirst pledges to invest more than $1.3 million to expand the use of telemedicine and increase access to quality behavioral health care in underserved rural and urban areas of Maryland and Washington, D.C.
  • 2014 CareFirst named to Ethisphere's "Most Ethical Companies" list for second straight year.


CareFirst, Inc. is the not-for-profit, non-stock, parent company of CareFirst of Maryland, Inc., and Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc., affiliates that do business as CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. CareFirst, Inc. is governed by a Board of Directors and special statutes regulating its business in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a regional leader in providing health care coverage and related services throughout the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia areas. In addition to our CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield offices, we also have subsidiary companies located in Fairfax, VA; Charleston, WV and Owings Mills, MD.

We are looking for the best and brightest people to join our team - people who will help us grow by providing our members with the highest level of service.


Managed health care is important to all of us. It is the focus of how we do business with our clients, and how we offer medical benefits to our associates. Currently the CareFirst medical options available to employees are:

Maryland, DC & Northern Virginia Associates:

  • CareFirst Healthy Blue Regional Option (Blue Choice coverage area)
  • CareFirst Healthy Blue National Option
  • CareFirst Healthy Blue CDH 1500 Option with HSA

West Virginia Associates:

  • CareFirst Healthy Blue National Option
  • CareFirst Healthy Blue CDH 1500 Option with HSA

The plans deliver health care primarily through managed networks of providers. Some plans also give you the flexibility to receive care from out-of-network providers.  are available 31 days following your date of hire.

You may also enroll your eligible spouse and/or children for benefits provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

Our Technical & Operational Support (TOS) team is on the leading edge of IT

We’re working on “the big picture” of the future of health care information technology, and what we do touches the lives of millions of people. We’re looking for top tech candidates who want to be change-makers, working together to build a new approach to health care. Our highly-motivated Technology & Operational Support (TOS) team, from information security to mobile/web to data informatics, takes on new challenges and drives innovative solutions.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Work at the forefront of health care technology. Join one of the world’s most ethical companies as we transform the industry.

Visit to learn more about our specific IT positions.

As the technology arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, TOS is building a new way for our customers to experience their health care. We’re using technology to further our primary mission, which is providing health and benefit services of value to our customers across the region. As a TOS associate, you’ll be exposed daily to industry-leading technologies such as AngularJS, Bootstrap, node.js, jQuery, JSON, Hadoop, Exadata, and SalesForce, as well as to advanced security monitoring and measurement tools. TOS is a team that drives innovation and develops new strategies to meet the demands of the evolving health care industry.



“My last company was much smaller. We didn’t have the budget or resources to accomplish the types of projects that I wanted to be a part of. We outsourced a lot. At CareFirst, someone identifies a need for a project and they can get the budget and work on it from the ground up – concept to completion.”

Bryan McDonough
Digital User Experience

“What’s cool is that CareFirst is a multigenerational workforce. I have found that employees who have had their entire career at CareFirst are still open to learning and new ideas. I’ve been able to build networks with very senior employees and develop mentor relationships. I’ve been given space to lead and share ideas in a way that’s valuable for everyone.”

Amber Herzer
Corporate Initiative Portfolio Services

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Reviews

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Chester "Chet" Burrell
108 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Great Company"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Owings Mills, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Owings Mills, MD
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield full-time (More than 3 years)


    - Tuition Assistance, PTO based on years worked, Good Health Insurance, 401K and much more.
    - Great CEO and leadership that is moving forward and innovating.
    - Most Ethical Company for the past 4-5 years.
    - The company culture is fantastic and its only moving forward.
    - A stable work environment. I know people that have worked her 30+ years.


    - The pay is lower than competition

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. You're great!

See All 289 Reviews

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Photos

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield photo of: Wellness in the Workplace Award
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield photo of: Red Run Location Fitness Center
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield photo of: Associates Attending DC Pride
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield photo of: Owings Mills Corporate Office
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield photo of: Associate Volunteers
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield photo of: BlueFit Cafe
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CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

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    Senior Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Owings Mills, MD
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (Owings Mills, MD).


    I applied online for the position and got a phone call the same day from a recruiter. It was a pretty basic phone screen with a couple of behavioral questions thrown in. An onsite interview was scheduled for a week later. This was with the hiring manager and two programmers. The questions in this portion of the interview were more technical, but you are not expected to write any code. They also ask a lot of questions about your resume. Know and truly understand your object-oriented programming and MVC concepts and you should be fine. A database question was also thrown in there. Got an offer about a week later and took it.

    Interview Questions

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