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2013 AARP Best Employers

BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina


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Industry: Insurance             Location: Durham, N.C.            Website:

Winning Years: 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is committed to creating an all-inclusive culture that celebrates and encourages diversity in all its dimensions. One way BCBSNC promotes an inclusive environment is through the Employee Networks program. The Golden Blues Employee Network focuses on the needs of employees ages 50-plus and offers a variety of programs and events ranging from professional development workshops to community outreach. Members engage in networking events and workshops focused on topics such as retirement planning and eldercare.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: BCBSNC offers employees working 20-plus hours per week the following learning and development programs: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training and certification classes. In a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 20 hours per year spent in training. Due to feedback from recent employee surveys, BCBSNC created a new Employee Recognition Program in which employees can earn as well as give points to redeem rewards, and launched a new Leadership Development Program. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects and by having access to formal mentoring programs. BCBSNC accommodated one employee with several significant chronic conditions who needed to work full time from home by allowing her this option.

  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 20-plus hours per week are eligible for individual and/or family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, short- and long-term disability, and individual life insurance paid by the employer. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 and retirees ages 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and spouse vision and dental coverage, as well as individual life insurance or other death benefit coverage. Employees receive wellness credits by participating in activities such as biometric screenings, online health assessments and by maintaining a healthy BMI. Wellness credits reduce the employee’s cost of their health insurance premium. Full- and part-time employees are offered flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs or counseling, on-site nutritional counseling, wellness coaching, an employee health clinic, and stress management training. Ninety-five percent of BCBSNC employees used at least one of these wellness benefits during a recent 12-month period. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.

  • Benefits/Financial: BCBSNC employees working 20-plus hours per week are offered a 401(k) plan with employer match. All new hires and all employees are automatically enrolled into the plan, and employees age 50-plus can make catch-up contributions to their plan, and may choose to invest in lifecycle funds that automatically reallocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement. Employees are offered financial education from Fidelity, and external financial planning experts. Employees are offered short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay for caregiving needs. Through a partnership with Bright Horizons, BCBSNC employees working 20-plus hours per week have access to an on-site backup child care center, and other care options through the Back Up Care Advantage program, including eldercare.

  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: BCBSNC offers various alternative work arrangements, including flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing and telecommuting. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

  • Opportunities for Retirees: BCBSNC has 953 active retirees and directly dedicated resource responsible for retiree relations. The company stays connected with its retirees by inviting them to special events, and by formally acknowledging employees upon retirement. Retirees are offered the following work opportunities: temporary work assignments, consulting and contract work, telecommuting, as well as full- and part-time work.

  • Age of Workforce: Twenty-eight percent of BCBSNC employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 13.4 years.

Also of Interest: More AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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