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2013 AARP Best Employers

SSM Health Care


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Industry: Hospitals/Health Care         Location: St. Louis   Website:

 Winning Years: 2013, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

SSM Health Care employees are given monetary incentives to stay healthy through the LiveWell health and wellness program. The points-based incentive program, offered to full- and part-time employees, encourages participation in wellness opportunities such as preventative screenings, physicals, smoking cessation programs, wellness coaching, health action challenges, as well as walking, biking and running distance events. Employees who earn and complete point requirements receive incentive payments each pay period. SSM offers medical, dental, vision, long-term care and dependent term life insurance not only to employees and their immediate families, but also to domestic partners, parents, in-laws and grandparents.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: SSM employees are offered the following learning and development programs: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training and certification classes. Employees must work 16-plus hours per week to qualify for the tuition reimbursement benefit. Full-time employees receive reimbursement for professional membership dues. During a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 36 hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards. Employees with 20 and 30 years of service become members of the 20 Plus Club and the 30 Plus Club, respectively. Club members receive SSM cafeteria and gift shop discounts, eight hours of additional paid time off, and a special gift. Members of the 30 Plus Club can also win gift cards. 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.
  • 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 long-term care insurance, and short-term disability. Long-term disability is offered to employees working 36-plus hours per week. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. SSM employees meeting specific employment and income guidelines benefit from the Medical Plan Contribution Discount Program. The program gives employees a discount on their medical plan premium contribution. Wellness benefits offered to full- and part-time employees include flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, and stress management training. All SSM employees utilized at least one of these wellness-related benefits in a recent 12-month period. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.

  • Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a 403(b) plan with employer match, and employees working 16-plus hours per week receive a defined-benefit plan. Employees age 50-plus can make catch-up contributions to their plan and may choose to invest in lifecycle funds that automatically reallocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement. Staff members and the staff from the financial services firm that administers the 403(b) plan provide financial information and training to employees. The EAP offers on-site financial assistance and personal counseling for employees and their immediate family members. Employees are offered short and long-term leaves of absence without pay and paid time off for caregiving needs. Full- and part-time employees are offered dependent care benefits such as on-site child and grandchild care, and referral services to assist with child care, grandchild care and eldercare.

  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting and a formal phased retirement program are alternative work arrangements offered to SSM employees working 16-plus hours per week. Employees age 62-plus with five or more years of service can phase into retirement while collecting partial pension benefits. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • Opportunities for Retirees: SSM has an individual within the organization directly responsible for retiree relations. The health system stays connected with its retirees by communicating regularly, inviting retirees to organization events, providing retirees with ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging employees upon their retirement. The following work arrangements are offered to retirees: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, as well as full-and part-time work.
  • Age of Workforce: Thirty-seven percent of SSM employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 15.5 years.

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

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