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2013 AARP Best Employers

Tufts Health Plan

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Industry: Insurance            Location: Watertown, Mass.           Website: www.tuftshealthplan.com

Winning Years: 2013

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

Tufts Health Plan has an on-site clinic that provides free wellness coaching, preventive care, symptom care and lab services for all employees enrolled in the company’s medical insurance. The company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers numerous benefits relevant to older workers, including providing counseling for issues such as living with aging parents, assisting with searches for eldercare services, and providing legal advice and personal financial consultations. EAP services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Recruiting: Tufts Health Plan has a relationship with Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston that offers job placement and training programs to mature workers.

  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Employees working 30-plus hours per week are eligible for reimbursement of professional membership dues. Employees working 20-plus hours per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement and certification classes, while all employees receive in-house classroom training and online training. In a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of these training opportunities with an average of eight hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements and awards. Based on employee feedback, Tufts Health Plan has expanded its training and development programs for all employees. One professional development plan that has had a positive impact on mature employees is a communication skills training that focuses on the different communication skills and expectations of employees from different generations. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments and on team projects, and by participating in formal mentoring programs. Accommodations made for one employee who became legally blind involved allowing the employee to take an extended leave of absence. When the employee returned to work, a special computer software program that significantly increased text size as well as a larger computer monitor were provided.

  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 16-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, as well as individual and family prescription drug coverage. Individual and family vision and dental insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability are offered to employees working 20-plus hours per week. Health benefits for retirees age 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage. New hires are eligible for these benefits upon retirement. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Full- and part-time employees are offered flu shots, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, stress management training, massage therapy, free monthly nutritional seminars, and an annual wellness fair. Ninety percent of Tufts Health Plan employees utilized at least one of these wellness benefits during a recent 12-month period.

  • Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a 401(k) plan with employer match. All new hires are automatically enrolled into the plan. Employees age 50-plus can make catch-up contributions to their 401(k) plan, and may choose to invest in lifecycle funds that automatically reallocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement. Employees are offered financial education from the staff of the financial services firm that administers their savings plan. The company’s financial services administrator visits monthly to meet individually with employees to discuss their 401(k) plans and retirement planning, and also hosts general information sessions. Short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay are offered to allow for caregiving. Tufts Health Plan offers dependent care benefits to its full-and part-time employees including referral services to assist with child care and eldercare.

  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: The following alternative work arrangements are offered to employees: flextime, compressed work schedules and telecommuting. Employees must work full time to be eligible for the compressed work schedules benefit while those working 32-plus hours per week are eligible for flextime and telecommuting. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

  • Opportunities for Retirees: Tufts Health Plan has 87 retirees and stays connected to its retirees by inviting retirees to organization events, by providing ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging retirees when they retire. Retirees are offered the following work opportunities: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, as well as full-time and part-time work.

  • Age of Workforce: Thirty-four percent of Tufts Health Plan employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 11 years.

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

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