Spotlight on...Sam Slade

Sam Slade recently joined us as vice president of our employer segment. Sam most recently served as the Rhode Island Practice Leader for USI Insurance Services. His broker perspective and understanding of our marketplace position him well to lead our small and large group businesses. We recently sat down with Sam to learn about delighting our customers, improving our technology capabilities, and much more.

What drew you to Blue Cross after a long career as a broker?

First and foremost, I was drawn here by the people. In my prior role at USI, I got to know many members of the BCBSRI leadership and sales teams. I have consistently been impressed with their passion, integrity, and knowledge. In particular I am excited to join Melissa Cummings’ team – her excitement for change, vision for what we can be, and commitment to excellence are contagious. We’re poised to accomplish great things, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m also at a point in my career where I’m interested in giving back, and the nonprofit aspect of what we do and how invested we are in our community is attractive to me.

What do you think Blue Cross does really well on the employer side, and where can we improve?

I am extremely proud of our Employer Segment team. Each and every one of them impresses me with their tireless advocacy for our customers and the energy they bring to their work. Anyone who has been in this business for any length of time knows how challenging it can be, and our team steps up every day for their clients and brokers. Whether it’s handling an issue related to renewals or claims, questions about eligibility or billing, or anything else, our team listens to customers’ concerns and does whatever it takes to resolve problems. In our business, customer delightment is what we strive for, and above all else that’s what our team delivers.

In terms of what we can do better, I would say improving our technology is a major opportunity and a key priority for us. And I think as an organization we understand that our partnership with Dell/NTT is evidence of our commitment to excel in that area. While there will no doubt be challenges during the transition, I know we’ll emerge with a much stronger platform.

What opportunities do you see in the employer market?

One area of opportunity is in the large group self-insured sector. This is a market sector I have a lot of experience with and personally enjoy. We’re working hard to create enhanced solutions for self-funded groups. Our enhanced stop-loss platform, new PBM (Prime Therapeutics) and employer reporting capabilities (MedeAnalytics), and excellent work in the provider area (systems of care, PCMHs, and gated products) are all part of the commitment to compete in all segments of the market we serve.

What do you want your former broker colleagues to know?

I want our broker and consultant partners to know that I will do everything I can to advocate for the things they want, need, and value. I want them to know that we value our relationships with them. I want them to know that they can always reach out to me with any issues, questions, or concerns and that I will always do my best to listen and help.

You can contact Sam at (401) 575-2007 or Samuel.Slade@bcbsri.org.