Employees of Merit Health hospitals are now eligible for new and enhanced benefits designed as pathways to help them eliminate existing student debt faster, pursue additional professional education, and advance their careers. The goal in offering Merit Health Pathways benefits is to support and retain employees and attract a strong workforce, especially frontline nurses, technicians, therapists and other clinicians and caregivers, along with support personnel.
Benefits include a new student loan repayment program that enables employees with outstanding student debt to consolidate their loans, reduce interest rates, and benefit from employer sponsored payments. For most clinical employees, Merit Health will directly pay a portion of loan premiums as long as the employee remains current with payments, offsetting student loan balances up to $20,000 per employee.
A new employee reimbursement program has been established for licensure or certification renewals required for all job classifications and can be used for any license or certification testing or renewal not already offered for free by the hospital.
In addition, a long-standing tuition reimbursement program that provides employees up to $5,000 in tax-free reimbursement annually is being expanded and can now be used for continuing education related to any role within the hospital. Previously, employees could only use the tuition reimbursement program toward studies in their current field of work.
“We appreciate our employees in all they do and want to support them,” says Mandy Dean Blackwell, a Human Resources executive for Merit Health. “Through these benefits, we hope Merit Health Pathways will ease the burden of student debt and allow employees to focus on achieving their goals and career success. These benefits also appeal to new healthcare talent.”