Skip to menu Skip to content

Category: Blog

22 Feb 2019

Meet the Team – Marketing

According to Property Casualty 360°, the insurance industry will need to fill 400,000 positions by 2020, representing a variety of roles and professions. In honor of Insurance Careers Month, we are turning the spotlight on a profession that you may not think of when you think insurance. Get to know Lindawati, senior graphic design specialist in our Marketing department, with these five questions:

Q: Describe your role at BCS.

A: As a senior graphic designer, I’m responsible for delivering design solutions that meet company and marketing strategies from concept to completion. My work includes leading the visual development of BCS collateral, supporting our departmental and cultural teams, and maintaining the BCS brand.

Q: What key projects do you have on the horizon?

A: One of the key projects this year is the evolution of our BCS brand. We used to have multiple logos for different divisions, but now, we are simplifying the brand to unify our company internally as well as strengthen our brand position in the market.

Q: What does BCS stand for?

A: Fun fact – BCS is not an abbreviation. It doesn’t stand for anything at all! However, there is a theory that the name is a play on Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCS Financial Corporation is owned by all primary Blue Cross Blue Shield licensees and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association).

Q: What do you like most about working in the insurance industry?

A: Two things top my list: the work and the people. I like that the insurance industry is a dynamic field—where innovation and development of new ideas and products are highly appreciated. BCS, particularly, offers me the opportunity to be innovative and creative. I also get to work with the most talented, dedicated, and passionate people. Together, these make my job fun!

Q: Design your perfect day off.

A: I like spending time with my family and doing creative activities like finger painting. One time, we had too much fun splattering paint onto our bathroom’s wall at home. There was paint everywhere—it was messy, but we had a good laugh. And luckily, the paint is washable.

15 Feb 2019

Christine Pulak Outstanding Service Award

Providing exceptional service is a cornerstone of highly successful companies. The culture at BCS embraces individuals and teams that provide outstanding effort every day by exemplifying our company values.

 In 2009 BCS implemented a program designed to recognize an employee who regularly exhibited the highest levels of service as determined by our employees.  This achievement is recognized annually through the Christine Pulak Outstanding Service Award.

The award is named in honor of a late employee, Christine Pulak, who exemplified Outstanding Service and all the qualities recognized in our culture during her many years of service with the company.

Employees nominate their peers who exhibit behaviors such as:

  • Wholeheartedly embracing change and is an outstanding positive example to others
  • Regularly offering suggestions or actions to improve a process
  • Taking personal accountability and perseveres to find solutions
  • Not only participating on teams, but is able to collaborate to achieve the desired outcome
  • Consistently providing outstanding service to external or internal customers


14 Jan 2019

Meet the Team – Human Resources

Kicking off the new year is a Q&A with Patrick O’Rourke, director, Human Resources – Talent Acquisition, and member of our Culture Team. Get to know Patrick – and BCS – through the five questions below.

Q: What are your major responsibilities at BCS?

A: I am responsible for a variety of human resources functions at BCS Financial. I lead all talent acquisition efforts and provide counsel to leadership team regarding organizational change initiatives. I also support various BCS Culture-related activities.

Q: What’s something you are working on right now?

A: One of the recent changes that BCS has experienced is launching our work-from-home (WFH) program. Our WFH Program complements our flexible work schedule. Working towards a healthy work-life balance is something that is important to all our people and we believe that offering team members flexibility in terms of where they work will allow for increased productivity while reducing some of the stress of commuting.

Q: What are you looking for when recruiting for BCS?

A: At BCS Financial we have core values that we look for in addition to looking for technically proficient professionals. We call these values our key positive forces and we believe that individuals that operate with these values top of mind will not only produce excellent results for the organization but will also contribute to creating a healthy work environment.

Q: Describe the culture at BCS in three words.

A: Heartfelt, Motivated, Productive

Q: What did you want to be when you were a kid (besides HR, of course!)?

A: I was going to be a professional hockey player. I left my glory years of high school hockey in the rear-view mirror long ago and got into coaching. I now serve as a private coach for children in my community.

27 Dec 2018

Meet the Team – Claims

For December’s Meet the Team series, we sit down with Chuck Burke, vice president, Claims.

Q: Describe your team’s function.

A: As vice president of our Claims department, I undoubtedly believe that Claims is the heart, backbone and soul of the organization. Efficient claims management is critical to the success of any insurance company. Our role is to ensure that valid, covered claims are paid by the company in a timely manner. We want to provide exceptional customer service in the event of a covered loss. The Claims Department handles or oversees Medical Stop Loss, Excess of Loss, Life Insurance, Short- and Long-Term Disability, Agents Errors and Omissions, Cyber and Privacy Liability, Excess Directors & Officers, Excess Managed Care Errors & Omissions, Limited Benefits, Student Accident & Health, and Travel Insurance (both medical and trip-related).   We work with all our partners, both internal and external, to provide oversight and guidance.  To paraphrase Jack Nicholson (as Colonel Jessep) in A Few Good Men, “You want us on that wall (claim), you need us on that wall (claim).”

Q: How long have you been with BCS?

A: 14 years 9 months and 19 days, but who’s counting. I really like the opportunity to wear many different hats and work closely with all our functional areas. Every day is a different day.

Q: What would you say is the most important skill someone in your profession needs?

A: A curious mind.  Claims can be like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.  Questions are the puzzle pieces and being able to put them together can be challenging.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: At the end of the day I feel that my department has contributed to the success of the organization.  We are able to see the positive impact of the Claims Department to the overall health of BCS.  At other companies you don’t necessarily see that or feel that way.

Q: What is your claim to fame?

A: My claim to fame is that I got all three of my kids through college, out of the house and mostly off the dad payroll.

18 Dec 2018

BCS Participates in USSS CECTF Table Top Cybersecurity Simulation

As the sixth largest cybersecurity insurer according to A.M. Best1, BCS is actively involved in the cybersecurity community. Recently our very own Tammy Kocher, director, Cyber Underwriting, had the opportunity to participate in a table top simulation exercise with the United States Secret Service Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force (USSS CECTF), West Monroe, CME Group, Argonne National Lab, and Perkins Coie.

The goal of the event, hosted by West Monroe as part of its cybersecurity community involvement efforts, was to help companies mature their cybersecurity organization by fostering communication and collaboration between industry, law enforcement, and subject matter experts.

Visit West Monroe’s blog for a recap of the event along key takeaways applicable to the cybersecurity community.

1 In 2017, BCS ranked 6th in cybersecurity direct premiums written, according to A.M. Best.

26 Nov 2018

Meet the Team – Service and Account Management

In our new monthly spotlight series, we ask our team members to share a little bit about their role at BCS. First up – a peek into our service department with five questions for Dan Watkiss, director, Service Partner and Account Management.

Q: Describe your team’s function.

A: My team is our Account Management team and our function is to take care of our stop loss and ancillary/voluntary benefit customers.  We define the customer as our Blue Plan partners, our brokers, our policyholders and our BCS sales team.  Our main goal is to support our sales team efforts in adding new business and retaining our current customers.

Q: What role does your team play when it comes to launching a new product?

A: We are involved in launching new products from a distribution standpoint, starting with the operational needs to set up processes to quote and execute sold business.  Once launched, our main function turns into assisting our sales team in those processes to quote and sell business.

Q: What would you say is the most important skill someone in your profession needs?

A: Empathy, without a doubt.  From working with internal partners to handling an escalated service issue from a customer, understanding the needs and feelings of the other person can help you support them to the fullest extent possible.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: Simply, the people I get to work with here at BCS is the best part of my job.  The functions of my role in particular are ones that allows me to work with so many people in so many different ways.  That has always been a huge motivator for me and I am so incredibly fortunate to have found such a great group of folks to work with!

Q: How do you maintain work/life balance?

A: I live a little farther west from our office, right about where farm country begins.  I have found that if I leave after rush hour in the morning, it only takes me about 35 minutes to commute in, compared to over an hour during the rush.  So I wake up a bit earlier and handle emails and organize my day at home, so that when I get in to the office, I can hit the ground running.  This also allows me to drop my kids off at school most mornings, which is a great way to get to spend more time with them.  I also have had the opportunity to work from home on a couple of occasions when I had some service being done to my home.  Having that flexibility and the support from my leadership and team has been great to maintaining a good work/life balance. 

26 Oct 2018

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Month, but businesses need to be protected year-round. The risk of a cyber attack is now being classed as a top threat to organizations. Trends show rises in the number of data breaches, while costs to resolve these breaches continues to increase as well. In fact, more than one-third of organizations have experienced cyber attacks on operational technology infrastructure. Check out our infographic for more alarming cyber stats. (more…)

15 Oct 2018

BCS Hosts Blue Plan Partners at Fourth Annual Stop Loss Conference

BCS Financial recently hosted their fourth National Stop Loss Strategy Conference in Chicago’s historic Wrigleyville neighborhood. The annual conference, this year located at the brand new American Airlines Conference Center adjacent to Wrigley Field, brings together members of the Blue System to discuss the Stop Loss industry, strategy, and emerging trends. (more…)

01 Oct 2018

Five Ways Employers Can Help Employees on the Path to Financial Wellness

According to a PwC survey, 54% of employees are stressed about their finances. * And it’s no wonder, since the majority of Americans are unable to cover a $500 or $1,000 unplanned expense. **

Insurance professionals may be in a unique position to help employers address this issue, which can impact employee productivity and a company’s bottom line. But how? Here are five ways employers can help their employees save for a rainy day. (more…)

10 Sep 2018

BCS Financial Announces EssentialCare Group Hospital Indemnity Product

Product Provides Affordable Solution to Protect Against Rising Costs of Hospital Stay

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., Sept. 10, 2018 – BCS Financial announces today a new hospital indemnity product available to help consumers pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses related to hospitalization. The product, underwritten by BCS Insurance Company, is now available in 37 states. (more…)