Premera Blue Cross Reviews | Glassdoor

Premera Blue Cross Reviews

Updated July 15, 2017
425 reviews

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3.1
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Jeff Roe
143 Ratings

425 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • very supportive of work-life balance (in 73 reviews)

  • They have good benefits including a pension (in 34 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Glad to be part of the change!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    It’s a good place to be if you want to be part of an organization going through a lot of needed change and you want to help with that change. We have a lot of new leaders and new employees bringing good ideas and challenging the status quo. We have new values that we are trying to live, more clarity on communications and a new focus on how we can improve customers’ lives by making healthcare work better. Pay is competitive and benefits are really good, including a 401K and we still have a pension. We even have more employee forums where we are able to share our thoughts.

    Cons

    Like most companies, we still have our issues too. Yes, we have leadership and employee issues in pockets of the company that are slower to adapt to the change making it difficult for some of us that want change. It is a burden on some of us as we need to pick up the extra work, but we are seeing more being done about it to address these concerns. We don’t always know if we are heard as communication is not always the best, but we know they are trying.

    Advice to Management

    I think we are going in the right direction and that our leadership teams are doing a good job. There are opportunities for better leadership training and better communication throughout the company. Many of us are still trying to understand where we are going as a company so help us do that.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    May 22, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    We are happy to share that additional employee training (including leadership training) is ongoing. While we work hard each day to make healthcare work better, financial health is important as... More


  2. Helpful (5)

    "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

  3. Helpful (7)

    "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!


  4. "QA Manual tester"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    all pros. great people to work with

    Cons

    very relaxing environment no cons


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Say What!"

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

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

    Pros

    North-end location, free parking and free coffee on Mondays are awesome. Monthly group huddles to share information is a huge improvement.

    Cons

    Middle managers are not competent. I can't imagine my compensation will now be levied by my manager who doesn't have the skills to do my job. The digital team already has difficulty retaining and hiring talent and this will drive off those that remain.

    Advice to Management

    Clean up the management staff before you give them more power to destroy what's left.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "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.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "It could be so good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice campus, clean restrooms, exercise programs and they will pay for some education. 401k and mostly nice coworkers. Health insurance benefits are just ok.

    Cons

    Top heavy, constant reorganizations. They talk agile but are dinosaurs. Contractors are replacing full timers. Contractors also brought in as project managers who don't know anything. Constant management turnover, lost knowledge, delays. There is a culture of fear due to the layoffs.

    Advice to Management

    Retain your good people. Get rid of the managers who don't care or listen. Stop sending out articles that we should give a higher rating on glassdoor.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "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. "New Employee Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Premera Blue Cross full-time

    Pros

    It's gratifying to be involved in the healthcare sector. I like being part of a good cause. Premera has a rigorous social impact and community relations program. Premera provides ample opportunity for employee volunteerism in the community. The campus is beautiful and the employees are friendly.

    Cons

    Can't think of a downside.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.

    Premera Blue Cross Response

    Jul 12, 2017 – Director, Human Resources

    Welcome to Premera! We are lucky to have you!


  10. Helpful (5)

    "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.


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