Kaiser Permanente is a pharmaceutical giant in the hospitals and health care industry. It’s one of the last surviving ventures of the Kaiser conglomerate, and, as a healthcare firm, features a number of in-house medical services in its employee benefits program.
Kaiser was established when industrialist Henry J. Kaiser needed a healthcare option for the 100,000 employees that worked at Kaiser Shipyards (which built Liberty ships during World War 2). Headquartered in Oakland, it was founded in 1945 by Kaiser and surgeon Sidney Garfield.
Today, Kaiser has over 220,000 employees and 23,000 physicians in the United States, and reached $79.7 billion in revenue as of 2018.
If you’re looking for a job at Kaiser, continue reading to learn more about their employee benefits.
Kaiser Employee Benefits Team
LeAnne Andersen – Vice President of Employee Services
LeAnne is responsible for overseeing the National HR Service Center, which manages HR operations for Kaiser employees. Her role within human resources management for Kaiser is the foundation of Kaiser employee benefits.
Find LeAnne Andersen on:
What are Kaiser’s Employee Benefits?
Kaiser believes in empowering and taking care of its employees, and proves it through a thorough benefits program,
|Health Insurance||Free on-site healthcare for employees and their families plus $5 copay for prescriptions.|
|Dental Insurance||Two cleanings a year with a max benefit of $1,900.|
|Vision Insurance||100% deductible for up to $2,500. You can get new contacts or glasses every two years and buy frames during the yearly sale on Kaiser campuses.|
|Mental Health Care||A $10 copay fee for each visit, as well as subsidized medication.|
|Disability Insurance||Up to 60% salary coverage for disabilities lasting up to or longer than 60 months.|
|401(K) Plan||After 2 years, employers contribute 5% to your 401(k). It matches up to 1.25% and can be contributed to Roth.|
|Retirement Plan||Matches up to 6% for 403(b) plus pension.|
|Vacation & Paid Time Off||9 paid vacation days per year along with manager-approved PTO.|
|Maternity & Paternity Leave||Maternity leave for 4 weeks before birth and 12 weeks after. Also, 6 weeks of paternity leave after birth (you can take an additional 6 weeks if you have PTO’s left).|
|Paid Holidays||6 set holidays and 4 floating holidays per year, including Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving.|
|Bereavement Leave||One day for an in-town funeral or up to five days for an out of town funeral (pending approval).|
|Employee Discount||Discounts on pharmacies, gym memberships, theme parks, movies, dinner shows, etc.|
|Mobile Phone Discount||A 21% discount on Verizon, a 15-20% discount on Sprint, and a 20% discount on T-Mobile subscriptions.|
|Company Social Events||Yearly social events for employees; including an annual Christmas party, annual dinner, annual meetup, etc.|
|Professional Development||Free educational courses after achieving a certain position. Employees also have access to seminars, conferences, and skill development programs.|
|Tuition Assistance||After working for a year, you can receive up to $3,000 in tuition reimbursement and $500 for books or education-related travel costs.|
What Employee Benefits is Kaiser Known for?
Kaiser employee benefits are among the best in the industry. The health insurance, retirement plan, and vacation & paid time off being the stars among the benefits.
Kaiser has an extremely high employee retention rate mostly attributed to benefits like:
- Healthcare insurance including Dental and Vision.
- A good retirement plan including a 403 (b) match up to 6% of your salary and pension plan.
- 9 paid vacation days to start with.
- A total of 16 paid weeks of maternity and 6 paid weeks of paternity leave.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) including Dependent Care, Healthcare, and Transit FSA.
- Mentorship programs are available.
- Flexible working hours.
The 9 vacation days at Kaiser increase with your time at the company. Employees can also get sick days off but you can only apply if you’ve been sick for, at least, 8 consecutive days.
The health insurance plan also covers employees’ family members. Furthermore, there are no copays for visits and prescription copays are only at $5. Kaiser also provides additional mental healthcare coverage for salaried employees. There’s a $10 copay fee for each, visit and subsidized medication is provided.
The retirement plan becomes available to employees who have been with Kaiser for more than 5 years. You earn retirement income (matching up to 6% of a 403(b)) and become eligible for a pension plan (which is rare nowadays).
Another massive benefit is the professional training and development you receive at the company. Kaiser offers free continuing education courses for employees. Furthermore, if you’re at or above the management level, you get more courses, training, and skill development opportunities.
If you work for Kaiser as an hourly employee, none of the benefits, except basic healthcare, apply to you. Employee benefits are mostly reserved for salaried employees.
How Does Kaiser Help with Student Loans?
Kaiser helps with student loans through various programs. Every year, they set aside an amount dedicated to loan assistance and scholarships. Once you apply, depending on your position in the company and your loans, a number (up to $5,000) is determined.
Currently, the loan repayment program is for specific staff and is only available to pay off debt accrued while attaining a bachelor’s degree. Up to $175,000 are awarded in each award cycle and the award selection is done by a review committee.
Kaiser encourages employees to complete, and further, their education, if possible. It also provides assistance in the form of loan forgiveness programs like PAYE, REPAYE, and PSLF, and provides professional help to educate people on how to pay off student loans effectively.
However, you should note that state laws can interfere with an individual’s eligibility for certain programs, like PSLF for physicians.
Despite tuition assistance, the financial burden of student loans still remains a massive problem. That is why student loan support has become one of the most wanted benefits by job seekers who have student loans. In order to attract the best talent, many companies are planning to implement student loan programs.
The best way to offer student loan benefits is to through FutureFuel. The platform not only makes the implementation process easy but also lets both employers and employees manage student loans efficiently and give solutions for a faster repayment process.
How Do Kaiser’s Employee Benefits Change for Different Jobs?
Most of the Kaiser employee benefits structure is the same across all states. However, some policies change with state laws.
For example, in Colorado, if you work less than 40 hours a week, you aren’t eligible for loan repayment programs.
Most of Kaiser’s employee benefits are only available for salaried individuals. Any employee who gets hourly salary receives only basic healthcare and half the PTO that a salaried person receives.
Tuition reimbursement numbers are also different for basic employees, nurses, physicians, etc. However, reimbursements (a maximum of $3,000 per year) require manager approval.
How Kaiser Improved Its Benefits Packages Overtime?
Kaiser has had steady growth over the years and has transitioned towards a benefit-driven job environment, rather than a salary-driven one.
While most companies swap one benefit for the other, Kaiser tends to stack them, especially if you’ve worked with the company long enough.
The additions/improvements in benefits over the years include:
- The addition of a free gym membership perk.
- Introduction of a mobile phone discount/financing facility.
- Fertility assistance of up to $30,000, covering almost 80% of the average cost of IVF.
- Increased tuition assistance over the years, from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.
Are Kaiser Careers Worth It?
Working at Kaiser can build and solidify your career, as it provides instant exposure to the healthcare industry. This is because Kaiser Permanente is a culmination of hospitals, clinics, health insurance contractors, pharmacies, and psychiatric centers.
Anyone interested in building a career in healthcare should consider Kaiser because:
- It provides a healthy career boost to physicians, nurses, etc.
- The union is very strong and member employees receive better benefits.
- You can opt for an office-based job after practicing for a while.
- Kaiser will support continued studies or any new courses you take.
- Kaiser has strong retirement and pension plans that set you up nicely when you leave the job or retire.
All of the above factors have led to a high employee retention rate for Kaiser.
Discover Kaiser Jobs and Careers
If you’re considering building your career at Kaiser, keep an eye out for job openings on the following platforms:
The company career page provides all the information on what it’s like to work at Kaiser, the benefits you can receive, and whether you’re eligible for various programs (disability, temporary contract, military, etc.). You can fill out the form at the bottom of the page and join Kaiser’s talent network. You will find jobs like Optical Dispenser, Image Assistant, Physician Assistant, Audiologist, etc. When you click on a job, you can either ‘Submit Interest’ or add it to your favorites.
Kaiser’s LinkedIn has thousands of entry-level and associate-level jobs like Learning Consultant, Data Analyst, Copywriter, etc. There are also director-level and management roles available, such as Director of Urgent Care, Director for Digital Planning, and Manager Communications. If you’re looking for internships, you can apply as an Intern Pharmacist, Clinical Lab Scientist Extern, IT Service Desk Intern, etc.
Indeed provides insights such as salary estimates of Registered Nurses, Cashier/Receptionists, Pharmacy Technicians, etc. It also displays photos of Kaiser work environments, detailed reviews of the company by current employees, and Q&A’s with answers to questions like, “What is the interview process like at Kaiser Permanente?” The posted jobs are mostly technical, like Molecular Genetics Technologist, Cytogen Technologist, Systems Administrator, etc.