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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Atlantic Health

Winning Years: 2008, 2007, 2006
Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Morristown, N.J.
2008 Rank: 15

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Atlantic Health offers numerous benefits to attract and retain an older workforce. Some examples include a variety of recognition awards, comprehensive Wellness Programs, a ceiling-lift system to move patients (thereby reducing physical strain on employees), mentoring programs, a generous defined benefit/cash-balance pension that is 100 percent employer paid, a voluntary 403(b) plan with enhancements to help employees save tax-deferred dollars for retirement, and flexible ways of phasing into retirement.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: Atlantic Health’s 1,000-Hour Club allows retirees the opportunity of returning to work on a limited basis (no more than 999 hours per year) without jeopardizing retirement benefits.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Atlantic Health offers the following learning and development programs to full- and part-time employees: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. It offers tuition reimbursement exclusively to employees working at least 19 hours per week. In the past 12 months, 100 percent of Atlantic Health employees participated in at least one of its training opportunities with an average of 65 hours spent in training.

Atlantic Health provides free Medicare workshops throughout the year. The RN Professional Advancement Clinical Tracks (PACT) program for nurses aims to recognize, reward, and retain experienced nurses with formal recognition and financial rewards.

The hospital celebrates long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, awards, and gifts after five years. Due to employee requests, many benefit improvements have been made at Atlantic Health, including improved communication with employees via a company intranet, a monthly e-health newsletter for employees, the Passion-in-Action  and Employees Choice awards to reward and recognize employees, a free identity-theft protection program, additional bereavement leave, a new childcare center, enhanced eldercare benefits, and an on-site nurse practitioner for employees.

Employees gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects, and via access to a formal job-rotation program.

Atlantic Health funded a ceiling track lift to move patients and assist older nurses. Other employee accommodations offered at the hospital include workstation evaluations and modifications and transitional duty programs for employees who are initially unable to return to their positions after injury or illness.

Benefits/Health: Employees working at least 22 hours a week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription-drug coverage, and individual and family vision insurance. Employees working at least 36 hours per week receive individual and family dental insurance and long-term disability.

Atlantic Health offers short-term disability to all employees, with no minimum hours required for eligibility.

Health benefits for retirees under 65 and age 65+ include individual and spousal medical and drug coverage and individual life insurance or other death-benefit coverage. Retirees under 65 also receive individual and spousal vision insurance. Atlantic Health offers flexible-spending accounts to help employees with out-of-pocket health care costs.

In addition, the company offers employees free hospital and facility coverage on lab and radiology services, on-site nurse practitioner visits, and disease management and wellness programs.

Benefits/Financial: Atlantic Health offers a 403(b) retirement savings plan and a cash-balance plan to its full- and part-time employees. Employees age 50+ can make catch-up contributions to the 403(b) plan.

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