Student loan repayment and tuition reimbursement are the most common options.
Education benefits have risen in popularity among healthcare organizations in recent years, with organizations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna offering options like student loan repayment and tuition reimbursement for employees.
Benefits such as tuition reimbursement is common in markets like healthcare where employees need a certain degree to do a role, said Gwen Cymerman, a benefits manager with Orlando Health. While Orlando Health offers student loan repayment and tuition reimbursement, in December 2020 it launched its preferred education program.
"The idea behind preferred education was to offer high-quality education at local schools at low cost to the organization, and what we've done is made it very easy for our team members to participate in it," Cymerman said. "We remove any financial barrier that the team member may have had in order to participate in these programs."
Orlando Health has partnered with four schools local to the system—Valencia College, Seminole State College, St. Petersburg College, and Lake-Sumter State College—where it covers 100% of the books and tuition for its employees.
The preferred education program helps Orlando Health differentiate itself from other healthcare systems, Cymerman said.
"It's easy to sell Orlando Health and the growth and the path you can create here with these programs," she said. "So, our talent acquisition team, whenever we're rolling out new benefits or expanding it, I definitely made sure we got in front of them to explain things."
While employees can continue their education via the preferred education program, the health system is able to grow its own pipeline of potential talent.
"They really do show that if you come here to work, we believe in you, we believe in you obtaining an education," she said. "Wherever you might want to go with that we can map it out for you."
Jasmyne Ray is the contributing editor for revenue cycle at HealthLeaders.