We continually seek to grow and develop our supplier base, which we strive to ensure is representative of the diversity of our community, our members, and our employees.

We also are proud to be a leader in buying from Rhode Island businesses, as well as supporting regional and national businesses. In fact, 50% of our vendors are local. By purchasing local goods and services we put $34 million annually into the state’s economy. When we invest locally, the Rhode Island economy improves, and a stronger economy is good for the health of all our communities.

Learn more about our Supplier Diversity

What we purchase

As an organization helping more than 420,000 members, we purchase a variety of products and services, including:

  • Advertising and marketing services
  • Computer hardware, software supplies, and services
  • IT contingent labor services
  • Printing
  • Promotional items
  • Staffing solutions

Supplier requirements

To support BCBSRI’s goal of providing great value to our customers every day, our suppliers must demonstrate:

  • Financial stability
  • Proven history of successful projects
  • Ability to provide high-quality, cost-competitive products and services
  • Ability to scale their business and services to adapt to BCBSRI’s evolving needs
  • A record of and commitment to acting in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, in addition to maintaining the highest standards of business ethics
Please see the following for additional supplier requirements:

For our vendors to understand our standards and expectations, BCBSRI has an established Vendor Code of Conduct (Vendor Code. The Vendor Code reflects our own high standards, which embrace internationally recognized principles designed to protect the interests of the workers who develop and provide services to BCBSRI. These principles have been informed by, and in many instances incorporate, human rights, labor rights, and anti-corruption standards enunciated by the United Nations and other respected international bodies.

BCBSRI requires that all services provided and or produced meet specific criteria. In addition to the expectations outlined below, individuals and organizations conducting business with BCBSRI or acting on the company's behalf must abide by the BCBSRI Employee Code of Conduct (Employee Code) provisions as applicable to them in their interactions with BCBSRI employees. Our employees are introduced to the Employee Code during their orientation and are required to review and acknowledge the Employee Code annually. We strongly encourage contractors, consultants, suppliers, external sales agents, and other individuals conducting business with BCBSRI to review the Employee Code annually, as well.

Compliance with applicable laws and regulations
Our vendors must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, all laws, regulations, and internationally adopted restrictions concerning bribery and corruption.

Health and safety
When on-site, you must comply with all applicable safety rules, laws, standards and procedures, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and regulations.

Child labor
Our vendors must not use child labor. The term “child” is defined as anyone younger than 15 years of age (or younger than 14 years of age where the law of the country of manufacture allows 14-year-olds to work).

Forced labor
Our vendors must not use voluntary or involuntary prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor, labor acquired through slavery or human trafficking, or any forms of involuntary or forced labor.

Wages and benefits
Our vendors must abide with all applicable laws relating to wages and benefits.

Working hours
Our vendors must not require their employees, on a regularly scheduled basis, to work in excess of 60 hours per week (or fewer hours if prescribed by applicable laws and regulations). All overtime must be fully compensated in accordance with the requirements of local law.

Harassment or abuse
Our vendors must respect the rights and dignity of their employees. We will not tolerate human rights abuses, including physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse of workers. Please review the Employee Code for more detailed information on this topic.

Workers must be employed, retained, and compensated based on their ability to perform their jobs, and must not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, national origin, age, religious, ethnic or cultural beliefs, or any other prohibited basis. Please review the Employee Code for more detailed information on this topic.

Freedom of association
Our vendors must respect the rights of their workers to choose (or choose not) to freely associate and to bargain collectively where such rights are recognized by law.

Our vendors must be in compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations. Our vendors are strongly encouraged to protect the environment by: operating in a sustainable manner, where possible; conserving and protecting resources, such as water and energy; and taking into consideration environmental issues that may impact local communities.

Our vendors must ensure that all subcontractors and any other third parties they use in the production or distribution of services offered comply with the principles described in this Vendor Code.

Special limitations on gifts and gratuities
Giving or accepting business courtesies during a contract renewal or bidding period with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island must be avoided. Outside of a contract renewal or bidding period, gifts and gratuities valued at more than "nominal value" are prohibited. Nominal value is defined as gifts or gratuities cumulatively valued at $100 or less during the calendar year.

Monitoring and compliance
BCBSRI or its designated third-party auditor or agent shall have the right to monitor and assess compliance with these principles. Our vendors must be transparent and honest in all communications with BCBSRI, our auditors, and agents. A violation of this Vendor Code of conduct may result in required corrective action, cancellation of purchase order(s), and/or termination of the business relationship.

Download addendum

Last Updated 12/21

Learn more

If you are interested in being a supplier or already are a supplier, please login in to our supplier portal.

Registering with BCBSRI will not automatically guarantee a business opportunity. We will contact suppliers that meet our criteria if we have an appropriate business opportunity.