Premera Blue Cross Reviews | Glassdoor

Premera Blue Cross Reviews

Updated October 5, 2017
57 reviews

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Jeff Roe
20 Ratings

57 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • very supportive of work-life balance (in 76 reviews)

  • They have good benefits including a pension (in 36 reviews)

Cons
  • Poor work life balance and exceptionally poor HR leadership (in 15 reviews)

  • Upper management spending too much time in meetings (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "A Great Insurance Company. An Awful Employer."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A great place to work if you just need a job and don’t plan on staying long. A nice campus setting and they even provide smoking areas. (Yes, smoking areas at a health insurance company! Excuse me?)

    Cons

    *A great company to work for? It was at one time, but not anymore.
    *Management: Very few managers have the values that Premera advertises.
    *Leadership: Not impressive at all. A bunch of big talkers and sugar-coater walkers.
    *Favoritism? It is so blatant and totally unethical.
    *Outstanding Benefits? Working for the insurance company, you'd think you’d have the best coverage available and at the lowest price. But that's not the case.
    *Competitive compensation? Nope. Every position has a pay range, but Premera tries, and wants, to pay people as low as possible.
    *Bonuses: Premera just changed the bonus structure where it no longer is based on how well you perform, but 100% based on if your manager likes you or not.
    *Lay-offs? Constantly. Don’t ever think that your position is safe or feel that you're valued.
    *Work/life balance? You don't take the work home with you, just the stress.
    *Irony: How Premera treats their external customers and clients so great, but their employees so poorly.

    Advice to Management

    The majority of managers should be given pink slips and fired. Stop blowing hot air and only listening to things that make you look good and glossing over, and spinning, things that don’t. The company, the employees, and the members deserve better!


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Never ruin your skills and passion for this company."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Ground level people are great want to do something but scared. There is harmony between team members but all curse behind the back about Management.

    Cons

    It was one of the worst leadership I have seen in my 10 years of career at fortune 500 companies. I made biggest mistake to join. Who knows how to say yes and ppt slides are successful. Lots of BSters.

    Advice to Management

    Don't just think about baking your own bread. Think about the company, y'all will have tough time ahead due to Kaiser. I wish you folks Best of Luck. Glad I am leaving.

  3. Helpful (11)

    "Digital Team - Revolving Door"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There is lots of free parking (more and more as layoffs occur) and an onsite cafeteria. McDonalds and Dicks are within walking distance of the office.

    Cons

    The digital team is simply a mess. Leadership is fractured and projects are not customer driven. We've recently lost a lot of talent for random reasons. New managers seem jealous and petty. As I spoke with leaving employees there is a common thread - bad leadership. Instead of listening and doing the right things for our members leaders are punitive and enforce random processes to wield power. This is not valuable to the company.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership is not micro-management. Let members who know how to do their job get things done. Stop being fake.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Sucks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Location and free parking was convenient

    Cons

    Incompetent managers, no clear procedures and always playing favorites, nepotism was obvious

    Advice to Management

    Get real managers in place, have a plan and clear processes before you start a project

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Aug 4, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    It is challenging to hear that your time with Premera was not what we would hope for you. We wish you all the best to you in your future endeavors.


  5. Helpful (11)

    "Death spiral"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    If you live in the north end, the commute is less brutal. Expectations are low so if you are smart you can work a true 40 hour week.

    Cons

    No clear strategy. Management is reactive and childish. Careers have been ruined because senior leadership didn't like hearing the truth.

    Advice to Management

    This isn't junior high school. You hired some smart people from outside insurance and they made you uncomfortable. So you fired them and went back to your comfort zone. Good luck with that!

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Aug 4, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    Ensuring Premera employees understand and are aligned with the organizations vision, imperatives, and annual goals is critical to our success. Several communications over the past few months... More


  6. Helpful (16)

    "Why oh why?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Developer in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Principal Developer in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have to agree with most reviews that work life balance is in general good, the campus is awesome and people are nice.

    Cons

    Now the sour notes. Actually, let me focus on one recent change just announced internally by HR. This has to do with how the annual incentive plan (MPIP) is awarded. In the past your bonus was awarded as such: 80% based on company goals being met. 20% discretionary based on your manager. That meant that on a good year you'd be guaranteed at least 80% of your bonus regardless of what your manager thought of you. Starting next year 100% will be discretionary based on your manager.
    HR hasn't really communicated well what is driving the change (other than "because we want managers to have more control"... dah). I heard rumors this was driven by the desire of being more "like Amazon and Microsoft".
    Well, guess what? Premera is NOT Amazon or Microsoft. If you read through Glassdoors reviews the one theme that comes up over and over again is Premera's problem with weak/incompetent middle management. And now you're empowering these folks to have full control over your technical staff.
    Let me break this out: Amazon and Microsoft might be giving more power to management, however they have talented, solid people in those roles. And they have well established practices to measure performance, idetify weak links, and replace weak performers. They also have very well established interviewing processes (ever heard about Amazon's "bar raiser"?) that constantly push the company to hire better and better people, especially in key management roles. Premera has nothing like that in place.
    Let's look at this from a risk-benefit perspective. You might end up with managers with more power, but if they cannot use it well, it's going to backfire big times. In a company already at odds with hiring talent, you'll also start loosing people whose performance is not evaluated fairly by managers. I'm not implying anyone is in bad faith. But when you're a manager of a technical team with no technical background, performances can be difficult to evaluate fairly.
    This is far too complex of an approach to management for a company with weak middle management. Hopefully time will prove me wrong but for now I'm holding my breath.

    Advice to Management

    Realize that most management skills are portable across industries and you need to start paying at "tech" level to hire talent. Invest in hiring top talent in management as your first priority.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Aug 9, 2017 – Director, IT Management

    You are right, hiring, cultivating, and rewarding good leadership is vital to the health and success of Premera employees and the organization.

    We would like to provide clarification on a couple... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Unethical"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Former Contractor - Manager in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice campus. Good commute if you live in the north. Ok work life balance. Uh, not much else is good about Premera.

    Cons

    Senior leadership secretive and unethical: preach one set of values and behave differently. IT leadership even worse: if you are not from Safeco, forget about advancement or resources to do your job. Leadership also constantly jockeying for power to build empire, employees caught in the crossfire.

    Advice to Management

    Why bother giving advice to management? They won't listen and will do whatever saves them politically.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Aug 9, 2017 – Director, IT Management

    Premera, and especially Premera IT, is transforming how we work to solve the problems our customers face in healthcare every day. There is a significant amount of work being done to improve and... More

  8. Helpful (12)

    "Morally Destitute Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Spokane, WA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Spokane, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Call center isn't open 24 hours (for now)
    -They offer dental, vision, and medical insurance

    Cons

    -They make up reasons to fire people in droves when its slow
    -Actively reprimand people for "helping customers too much"
    -They take advantage of lower income customers by requiring referrals for everything, including URGENT CARE, on their cheapest plans. They don't notify the consumers that their new plan requires referrals until months after they enroll them.
    -The company actively discourages trying to learn things outside of your job description
    -The team leaders gossip about employees to each other, and violate HIPAA about their own employees in doing so.
    -They cut training short and put you on the call center floor weeks before you are supposed to leave the classroom
    -In response to bad reviews online, they asked their employees to leave good reviews about their company creating a HUGE conflict of interest.
    -They give people the training to perform the advanced work after a couple months for another department, and then shortly after the employees are demoted in pay and title while still having them use the skills they were trained in to assist BOTH departments on a regular basis. These demotions aren't performance based, they are based off of work volume according to the bosses.
    -They have outsourced their billing department, and fired the entire American based staff for that department without the option of transferring them.
    -They have systematically fired anybody that suggests improvements for the company, sometimes stating that the reason they are being fired is because they were being too "negative".
    -The only people who thrive in this company very transparently think that helping people is repulsive, and that any hardship experienced as a provider or consumer is entirely their own fault for being "stupid" or "not paying attention".
    -Every month, their is a report that tells everybody exactly how much time you have spent in the bathroom and exactly how much money that has cost the company. What if somebody had a medical condition that resulted in them needing to frequently use the restroom? This is another HIPAA violation.

    Advice to Management

    You know that scene in the beginning of The Incredibles? The one where the boss fires bob because he helped them, and as a result the customers are "penetrating the bureaucracy" of insura-care? Please try to not be a carbon copy of that boss. It doesn't mesh with your alleged mission of helping people.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Jul 14, 2017 – VP, Customer Service

    It is disappointing to hear your time with Premera was not what you had anticipated. What you have shared is not typical and is not aligned with Premera's values. The Customer Service Representatives... More


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Not all management is crated equal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Customer Care Representative in Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Customer Care Representative in Spokane, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great coworkers, decent benefits, telecommuting, fair wages and great initial training.

    Cons

    If you are lucky enough to get a supervisor that knows what they are doing and knows how to be a supervisor you will do well. However, if you get one of the many supervisors that should not be in the role...good luck. I watched one team get fired one by one because that supervisor didn't lime those people. She made things up with out offering proof or following co.pany policy. People used to have opportunities to correct mistakes but those pros were nor afforded that opportunity. They say are culture is changing, and I agree, but for the worse.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to you ethics line. Don't solicit reviews fo this site. Quit letting bad supervisors get rid of good employees with unfair terminations

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Jul 14, 2017 – VP, Customer Service

    We appreciate you sharing that you find Premera's compensation, benefits, and training valuable.

    Coaching and development of Premera employees is vital to both the employee and the organizations... More


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Workers remose"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountlake Terrace, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    close to home and flexible work schedules

    Cons

    I would not recommend this company to anyone. In the few years that I have been there I have witness a lot of discrimination as well as unfair hiring and firing practice. Leadership does not care about your knowledge, skills or experience. They are more concerned with your personality. They are now making personality testing part of the hiring process. I have seen people hired and/or promoted for positions that they weren’t qualified for over people who were just because someone didn’t like them. Leadership seems to cater to the younger employees more, especially if you are lucky enough to have small kids. Everything seems to center around these younger employees.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of blaming the employees for the horrible culture try blaming the leadership who are unfair and bias in their dealings. The turnover is horrible!!! You fire people so randomly that I am scared to invest or spend any of my hard earn money for fear of being fired at any moment because some manager doesn't like me. It sucks!

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    May 25, 2017 – Director, Recruiting

    Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. While it’s disappointing to read your review, we’d like the opportunity to continue the conversation regarding your perspective and the concerns... More


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