Premera Blue Cross Reviews | Glassdoor

Premera Blue Cross Reviews

Updated August 26, 2017
90 reviews

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Jeff Roe
22 Ratings

90 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • very supportive of work-life balance (in 74 reviews)

  • They have good benefits including a pension (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • Poor work life balance and exceptionally poor HR leadership (in 14 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (9)

    "Layoffs with no warning"

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

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay and vacation benefits

    Cons

    Lots of hit-and-run layoffs with no notice and no ability to apply for a transfer within the company. (Employees escorted out immediately!) Everyone from staff to managers affected - even those with 20 years at the company.

    Advice to Management

    To avoid a fearful environment, CEO should encourage managers to give employees notice before a layoff and encourage transfers to other positions within the company.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "N/A"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Close to home, hours are ok

    Cons

    Never heard by management, having more than one manager to report to. Outdated internal tools. Expected keep all email or side conversations with new procedures rather than updating internal job aids. Limitations with tech support, not much room for growth in departments, paper pushers ideas go unheard, lack of management on the floor always in meetings. Multiple emails to managers with no response till after you've called them out on it.
    No follow thru/up. Too much of social / business class divide. If your not the circle then your odd man/woman out. Turn over is high. Speeding through training. Audits are outdated and don't well reflect our goals or values.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff doing the work their ideas often times are the best, when they have questions get answers with sence of urgency, stop making policy changes before updating internal tools, this causes confusion and mistakes. Stop feeling threatened by associates with new or different ideas but work with them to help bring them up and you. Credit your people not yourselves. Lots of talk about manager self reflection over last 2 months but again fallen into the same pattern and old habits. Told to keep head down and work but if of when managers are there they are allowed to have lengthy on going conversations non work related. Practice what is preached.

  3. Helpful (17)

    "The Trump of Healthcare Plans."

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

    Pros

    Geographical location. Campus setting. Low bar to be an Executive but pay good. So many problems to fix that it's quite easy to do well there.

    Cons

    Old, outdated model of management over leadership that is not changing as advertised. Very white, very conservative company that lost its way many years ago. Does not cultivate its own young talent and believes in overpaying outsiders for high level roles. Poor work life balance and exceptionally poor HR leadership. Best way to describe Premera's constant leadership churn: "like shuffling around deck chairs on the Titanic."

    Advice to Management

    Leave. If you're Senior Mgmt then start making better hires.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Jul 12, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    The process of changing an organizations culture takes time, but we are happy to say that so much positive work has been done to keep us on the right path moving forward. Premera continues to have a... More


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Slow pace, low pay, outdated technology"

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

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many people that are fun to work with. Parking got better after the layoffs. Nice walkable campus as long as you stay on campus (there have been muggings and lots of used needles on the walking trails).

    Cons

    Lots of weird, stodgy policies. Can't have a fan on your desk (or anything else that you plug in) without risking a talking to by the facilities team. There's a dress code (at least you can wear jeans now). And a cup of coffee costs $1. Ineffectual managers who can talk a good game but add no value or stomp on people get promoted quickly. In IT, if you're not a former Safeco manager, you're not going anywhere. Lots of good talent lost to layoffs and frustration. If you want career growth, forget about it. You can make lateral moves but you'll get passed over for new jobs that will stretch you and let you grow. Way too many weird manual processes and hacks because the project owner or business didn't want to spend the time to do the project right. And to top it off, pay is pretty low for IT associates. Moving to a real tech company can yield better benefits and lots more base pay. But I suppose the pension is kind of neat.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the stodgy policies. Stop the project hacks. And most importantly, trust your associates with new tasks and let them grow.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Aug 9, 2017 – Director, IT Management

    Thank you for your feedback and for the years of service you spent with Premera. It is challenging to hear you did not feel as though you had the appropriate level of support and growth... More


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Style over substance"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - The coworkers are wonderful. If you only had to deal with your peers, this would be a good place to work.
    - Management is starting to look at how to improve trust and overall culture, but the changes are slow in coming with little evidence of completion

    Cons

    - Date over quality driven (dates to meet executive bonus goals are emphasized over delivering a quality solution)
    - Management wants to look good rather than emphasize good work
    - Employees are reminded regularly that this is an "at will" company (emphasizing that we should be grateful for our jobs)
    - More money is spent on developing brand image than on most operational team salaries
    - Trust is low above your peers
    - Problems are met with buzzwords and catchphrases rather than solutions
    - Issues/problems are not raised (or are whitewashed) because it would be contrary to our image

    Advice to Management

    Live the words. If you are letting people go because we are under a budget crunch, don't spend money recklessly on "pet" programs. Look to the employees and their well-being as much as you look at your own reputation. If an employee is well-taken care of, they will care better for our customers.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    May 22, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    Thank you for sharing your concerns. Especially regarding staffing changes and restructuring that has taken place over the last 18 months. Organizational changes are challenging for many reasons... More


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Seeding Social Media doesn't reflect well on a company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Premera has a lot of genuine warm people, with a great deal of industry knowledge. The atmosphere is collegial and for the most part pleasant.

    Cons

    Leadership is very driven by a "Bro" culture. Leadership's political affiliations are no secret, and a lot of business decisions are driven by their worldview. The understanding of current technology and tools amongst leadership is laughably old school. Being tone deaf to modern communications doesn't help (a recent post telling people to post positive reviews on this site bears this out)

    Advice to Management

    Look at the business problems without the lens of personal biases. Stop being cheap with infrastructure investment. Use up to date technology.
    Act like you actually care.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    May 22, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    You're right, Premera employees are great people with vast industry knowledge. It's those same knowledgeable people that are working hard to continuously improve Premera's technology and... More


  7. Helpful (20)

    "Run Away and Don't Look Back!"

    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 3 years)

    Pros

    There are some truly caring and compassionate people at Premera who really are trying to make healthcare work better.

    Cons

    Poor leadership, underfunded projects and a vague company purpose make it difficult to get things done. The "do more for less" attitude is prevalent. There's a lot of greed at the top tiers of leadership. The Let's Be Clear initiative to simplify language for customers and employees is great. Premera's senior leaders should take a lesson. Create some easily understood company goals and regularly refer back to them. You can't just keep saying "Improve customers' lives, yadda, yadda ..." HOW?! How are you going to do that? Lay out some projects, build in milestones, share those things with EVERYONE. Cascading the company strategy through one email to certain leaders isn't particularly effective. Oh, and for God's sake, provide coffee for your employees. Give me a break. How cheap can you be?!

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at how your premiere customers treat their employees. If you want to improve, you're going to need to attract some top-tier talent, and working at Premera isn't very appealing where things currently stand. The way you treat your customer service employees and other hourly employees is appalling. The fact they're not entitled to earn a bonus is terribly demoralizing. You talk about how important these employees are, but then treat them as a lower class. It's shameful.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Apr 7, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    We are sorry to hear that your experience with Premera is not what you would have hoped. Premera's values, purpose, and game plan are communicated regularly through many platforms including... More

  8. Helpful (2)

    "A Low-Impact Place to Work"

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

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time

    Pros

    Solid benefits: 401k (with company match), medical/dental, PTO - 10 days in first year with increased accrual for additional years of service and/or promotion.

    Flexible schedule: many positions within my department (operations) provided the ability to establish own work schedule outside of "core" business hours of 9-2:30. There are also opportunities for telecommuting.

    Casual work environment: dress code is relaxed for a large health insurer (allows for jeans), headphones allowed.

    Cons

    Excessive middle management, bureaucracy and reliance on policies and procedures. Employees were treated as "cogs in a machine" in general with little room allowed for independent thought or creativity. A majority of work tasks were volume-based and often felt redundant or unnecessary. Poor communication from the VP level on down led to abrupt lay-offs with no forewarning that was being considered.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Apr 10, 2017 – Vice President, Operations

    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. It is unfortunate to hear that you felt the communication and opportunity to be creative was lacking. Based on your role within the organization, some roles... More


  9. Helpful (18)

    "A cut too deep"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Generally collaborative coworkers with shared interest (passion for a few) in making healthcare better. Nice campus. Reverse commute for many. Average (not bad, not great) corporate benefits.

    Cons

    The layoffs of 2015-2016 decimated some functions. Marketing is a shell of its former self, and the folks left behind are overwhelmed. Per management is trying to turn the bottom line back to black, and it SHOWS in terms of ridiculously high work loads for most employees. The company's web technology is a full decade behind the times, and despite heroic efforts and infusion of new leadership, it still seems light years away from deli bring what insurance customers demand now.

    Advice to Management

    You overreached on the RIF. You are seeing a talent flight as a result. Do something about it.
    Jeff preaches that change comes from the bottom up, but there is no corporate area specifically responsible and empowered to take ideas from the Gemba and make them happen. Some of your top execs pretend to understand how the Gemba should drive improvement, but they do not. Your operations leadership has had FOUR years to deliver top quality customer service during open enrollment and yet here we are still with 2 hour wait times. This demolishes whatever brand equity you are building through admirable work elsewhere.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Feb 8, 2017 – Director, Marketing

    This is a time of great change within healthcare and for Premera Blue Cross. We are listening closely to our customers and employees to make changes that ultimately improve the experience for all our... More


  10. Helpful (3)

    "QA Lead"

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

    I worked at Premera Blue Cross full-time

    Pros

    good parking and security. good people to work with. annual bonus.

    Cons

    chaotic and stressful work environment. unclear direction. not enough IT employees for the work to be done. Makes for long hours. Not enough vacation time to keep people fresh.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – Director, IT Management

    Premera's IT organization is growing every day, as we continue to hire talented and creative professionals to join the team and participate in our mission to make healthcare work better. Premera will... More


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