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2013 AARP Best Employers

Scripps Health


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Industry: Hospitals/Health Care           Location: San Diego            Website:     

Winning Years: 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

Scripps Health offers staged retirement programs to eligible employees age 55 and older. In this program, employees collect full-time benefits and may dip into their retirement funds while working part-time. Scripps offers financial hardship benefits such as salary advances, PTO hardship withdrawals, and the employee funded Scripps HOPE Fund provides financial hardship assistance with paid time off or financial assistance.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Recruiting: Scripps uses senior placement agencies to target mature workers and retirees. The organization also posts positions on career websites such as and Scripps hires former experienced employees through the Scripps Alumni Program.
  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Scripps employees are offered the following learning and development programs: in-house classroom training, on-line training, certification classes, department based training, new leader orientation, and reimbursement for professional membership dues. Tuition reimbursement is offered to employees working 16-plus hours per week. In a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 40 hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards. Feedback from employee opinion surveys prompted Scripps to create the PSD Incentive program, which recognizes and rewards long service and strong attendance; implement a Care Partner program, which provides free prescriptions through Medication Therapy Management for chronic health conditions; offer a College Fund 529 plan for parents and grandparents; and to add bereavement leave extension, pet insurance, identity theft insurance, and Sitter City (child care benefits for grandchildren). Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects, and by having access to formal job rotation and mentoring programs. Scripps’ comprehensive Return to Work program offers individualized managed care by an assigned on-site nurse case manager to employees returning to work after illness or injury. The Employee Care Clinic (ECC) is an on-site employee clinic for "episodic" care providing cost-effective and high-quality care to employees returning to work and employees injured on the job. Job modifications are made for employees with physical limitations.
  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 16-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, and short- and long-term disability. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 and retirees age 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and drug coverage; individual and spouse vision and dental coverage; individual and spouse long-term care insurance; the services of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP); and individual and spouse life insurance or other death benefit coverage. New hires are eligible for all of the above benefits upon retirement. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Employees are offered flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, on-site massage, as well as stress management training. Seventy-one percent of Scripps employees utilized at least one of these wellness-related benefits during a recent 12-month period. EAP services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.
  • Benefits/Financial: All Scripps employees are offered a 403(b) plan with employer match. Employees working 20-plus hours per week are eligible for stock options, profit sharing or a similar plan. And, full-time employees working 40-plus hours per week are eligible for a money-purchase defined contribution plan. All new hires and all employees are automatically enrolled in the 403(b) plan, employees age 50-plus can make catch-up contributions to their plan, and plan participants may invest in lifecycle funds that automatically reallocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement. Employees are offered financial education from staff members, from staff of the financial services firm that administers their savings plan, and from financial planning experts not affiliated with their plan. Mature employees benefit from attending Scripps Financial Fairs and Retirement/Financial Planning Seminars, which provide information on topics such as asset allocation, planning for retirement and navigating financial website tools. Short-term leaves of absence without pay and paid time off are offered to allow for caregiving. Scripps offers on-site child care and grandchild care and backup care for child care and grandchild care to employees working 12-plus hours per week. Referral services to assist with child care, grandchild care and elder care are offered to all employees.
  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Alternative work arrangements such as flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing and telecommuting are offered to employees working 16-plus hours per week. All employees can elect to participate in a formal phased retirement program. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • Opportunities for Retiree: Scripps has 425 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The organization stays connected with its retirees by communicating on a regular basis, by inviting retirees to organization events, by providing retirees with ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging employees upon their retirement. Retirees can participate in employment opportunities such as temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, and telecommuting, as well as full- and part-time work.
  • Age of Workforce: Thirty-six percent of Scripps employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 15 years.

Also of Interest: More AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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