Student loan repayment and tuition repayment are the most common options.
Education benefits have grown in popularity among healthcare organizations in recent years, with organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna offering options like student loan repayment and tuition reimbursement.
Perks like tuition reimbursement are common in markets like health care where employees need a certain degree to play a role, said Gwen Cymerman, benefits manager at Orlando Health. While Orlando Health offers student loan and tuition reimbursement, in December 2020, it launched its favorite education program.
“The idea behind Preferred Education was to provide high quality education in local schools at a low cost to the organization, and what we did was make it very easy for members to our team to participate in it,” Cymerman said. “We are removing any financial impediments the team member may have encountered to participate in these programs.”
Orlando Health has partnered with four local schools in the system – Valencia College, Seminole State College, St. Petersburg College and Lake-Sumter State College – where it covers 100% of its employees’ books and tuition.
The preferred education program helps Orlando Health differentiate itself from other health systems, Cymerman said.
“It’s easy to sell Orlando Health and the growth and the pathway that you can create here with these programs,” she said. “So our talent acquisition team, whenever we’re rolling out new perks or expanding them, I’ve definitely made sure we meet with them to explain things to them.”
While employees can continue their education through the preferred education program, the healthcare system is able to develop its own pool of potential talent.
“They really show that if you come here to work, we believe in you, we believe in you to get an education,” she said. “Wherever you want to go with this, we can plot it for you.”