BCBSKS president and CEO reflects on his first year

Early April marked the one-year anniversary of Matt All being named the president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. He recently took time to reflect on his first year leading the company to share what he’s learned and what he’s looking forward to.

What’s something that’s surprised you after being in this position for a year?

How much fun it’s been. I was excited to take on this new role, but I wasn’t sure what it would be like from day to day. It’s been amazing. Everyone has been tremendously kind and accepting of me and the way I do things. I haven’t had a single day that I wasn’t excited to come to work.

Is there something that you’ve learned that would surprise our members to know about our company or the health insurance industry?

I think people would be surprised how committed we are to getting this right — to making health care work for Kansans. I think many people think the insurance industry is full of unfeeling bureaucrats, just pushing paper around. I can’t speak for what it’s like at other companies, but it’s just not true at BCBSKS. Everyone I talk to here is committed to giving our customers a great experience, to helping them get access to high-quality care and to making it as affordable as it can be. I wish more people could spend some time here. I think it would change the way people think about health insurance.

In your role, and as a lifelong Kansan, you’ve gotten to visit many of our neighbors throughout the state. What are some of your favorite places to visit in the Sunflower State?

I grew up in southcentral Kansas, and I’ve lived in northeastern Kansas most of my adult life, so I tend to enjoy visiting other parts of the state. I love Garden City, with its diverse population and vibrant culture. I love Stockton, a small town in northwestern Kansas, where my mom grew up. And I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Pittsburg — especially the food. But I also like just driving through the Flint Hills. Its beauty never ceases to amaze me.

What’s been your favorite part about your role this past year?

Two things. First, I love helping to shape the culture of a place. I think we all want to be part of a group of people who stand for the right things, who support each other in good times and bad, who set high expectations for themselves and who are willing to have great, candid, truthful conversations about what they want to achieve together. I’ve spent a lot of time this first year trying to nudge us in that direction and I’ve been thrilled at how everyone has reacted. I couldn’t ask for a more positive response.

Second, I’ve enjoyed getting to know more people at BCBSKS, from new employees to our most seasoned veterans. We have fantastic people here and it’s a joy to have the opportunity to work with them. I think BCBSKS represents the very best of Kansas.

What are you looking forward to in this next year?

We spent most of 2018 developing the outlines of our new strategic vision. That’s important, but it’s just the beginning. Now we need to get focused and specific. We need to decide what big things we’re going to do to take the first steps toward giving Kansans a health care system that works. I think it’s going to be exhilarating work and I’m ready to see where it takes us.

17 thoughts on “BCBSKS president and CEO reflects on his first year

  1. As a lifelong friend and neighbor of Matt and his family I can say with authority that BCBSKS is in the best hands possible. You won’t ever meet anyone with more integrity and honor than Matt All. He has inspired me through my whole life to be the best person I can be. BCBSKS helped me get through cancer (non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) every step of the way. In the middle of my treatments our company switched providers to Aetna. Talk about a company that is full of unfeeling paper pushing bureaucrats … Aetna is THE WORST! We are switching back to BCBSKS this year and I couldn’t be happier.

    Congratulations, Matt!

    1. I’m glad your having fun Matt. I’m not . BCBS has raised my insurance over 200 dollars every year for the past three years. As a sole proprietor and employee of one it is more than a house payment. You have done nothing to help those grandfathered in thanks to Obama care.

  2. For over 30 years I have been with blue cross and blue shield of Ks. and Okla. . I pay around 7 to 8 thousand a year for insurance . more for out of pocket exspenses and copays. My wife needs gastric bypass surgery and the company I work for wont allow it. I feel that I have paid for the service my family should be able to receive the services they need. David Adams

  3. This is Sharon. I enjoy the great help with Customer Service so far, and I commend them. I have BC of KS, and many think BC of Kansas City, is the same. It’s not!!. BC of Kansas has been good, however, one thing is a problem. BC of Kansas has apparently contracted with a SURVEY company, called DDS. DDS sent a survey to me, that asked question about service from July through Dec., 2018, then in the headings of each question, it reads, “In the last 6 Months”, and askes questions. Now, here it is April of 2019. The
    survey should not include 2018 at all! Deal with 2019 for 2019. Please check into DDS and what they are doing. It is not accurate, and seems like a catch 22.

  4. Congratulations on your first year as CEO at BCBSKS and appreciate your communication to members. As you look for ways to improve healthcare coverage for people who are paying premiums to your company, please consider the adverse policies that have been implemented that are frustrating, inconvenient and a financial burden, especially on your individual plans. Each year during enrollment, there are fewer individual plans available with BCBS and deductibles are higher, which is a financial burden. In addition, this year your company removed many options for health care by no longer offering out-of-network coverage at all. You now expect members to drive much farther to a doctor/specialist, when there is a specialist that provides this care in the Kansas City area. However, your company will not cover doctors or hospitals in Johnson and Wyandotte County, unless it’s an emergency. This is not improving health care for participants in BCBS plans, but causes a financial burden that should not happen with the high cost of your individual plans. I know you mentioned the good news in your communication; however, plan members are not seeing some of these changes as helpful in proving health care options.

  5. I have been on Medicare for the last 20 years with BCBSKS as my secondary insurance. I never want to change as you are always there when I needed you Thank you for always helping me when I need you. Sue Raines

  6. As lifelong Kansans, it’s nice and secure to have such a reputable health company supporting us. In fact, as my wife and I grow older, we will be depending more and more on BC BS.

  7. I have had Blue Cross and Blue Shield for YEARS. I am happy that you have found a home that you are always looking forward in going to. I am sad because I wish I have had the same experience that you feel with BCBS. I have had to call and/or appeal one thing after another since my son has came down with migraines. Most of the time we have to pay out of pocket for medicine that should have been covered but wasn’t. Please in the years to come look at the many appeals to find out why BCBS has not came thru for the people that pay for your insurance.
    Thank you!

  8. Matt,
    Knowing you and your family, I believe BCBSKS to be in good hands. I too, have more of a “peace of mind” about my health insurance. Thank you.

  9. My wife owns Immanuel Birth Co. in the historic Crosby house just north and east of your complex of buildings. I just wanted to say thank you to your security staff that patrols the parking lots, buildings etc. They have been very courteous and helpful to us. We want to be good neighbors also in any way we can. Kenny Blair

  10. Love the photo! (I’m also a photographer), and really enjoying working under Matt. I appreciate his approach, encouragement, and ideas for the future and imagine great things are to come!

  11. As a lifelong Kansas, I’ve had BCBSKS since I can remember. I’m grateful for the coverage and piece of mind and it will be interesting to see where healthcare goes in the future.

    1. Just have to say I live In east TN. My company is in Kansas. We work out of a satellite warehouse. So my Healthcare is through BCBSKS. I have no problems with finding providers here. Always worked well for me when used it. Not alot thankfully. Glad to be a member!

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