How the best banks to work for get healthcare right

Dealing with healthcare benefits for employees is one of the biggest headaches bank executives suffer each year as premium costs have steadily risen in recent years.

But many institutions on the Best Banks to Work For list have embraced this challenged by going beyond just providing traditional health and dental insurance. Almost 90% of the 85 banks on the list this year have fitness and wellness programs to help encourage employees to lead healthier, more balanced lifestyles. Roughly half of the Best Banks this year provide workplace facilities to promote exercise and fitness.

And there are other institutions that offer more distinctive perks – everything from access to a mobile dentist to discounted pet insurance – that help give employees peace of mind that their families will be taken care.

Here is a look at some of these perks from the banks that made our sixth annual list.

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Dentist on the go
Peapack-Gladstone Bank helps its employees maintain their pearly whites with HENRY The Dentist, a mobile dentist service that visits corporate offices throughout New Jersey. The Bedminster, N.J.-based bank includes the service as part of its dental plan with no cost to employees for preventative services.

During their dental visits, employees are pampered with added benefits like massage chairs and Apple TVs with Netflix and HBO. HENRY provides cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings, crowns and teeth whitening to help employees’ smiles look their best.
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Navigating healthcare
Understanding healthcare benefits and costs can be tough. But several of the Best Banks to Work For provide services to help their employees with this.

Origin Bank in Ruston, La., works with a third party called Benefit Advocate Center, which is staffed with specialists who can assist employees. The specialists are familiar with Origin’s benefits and are able to answer specific employee questions and help with any claim issues.

First Busey in Champaign, Ill., and Veritex Community Bank in Dallas both offer Compass, a healthcare concierge service that provides cost estimates, reviews explanations of benefits and bills and even negotiates payment plans with providers for the banks’ employees.

First Busey has partnered with Compass since January 2017 and makes the service available to all employees and their families, regardless of whether they are on the company’s plan. The bank has received “overwhelmingly positive” responses from employees about the service, said Christa Dubson, corporate communications director. It has helped one employee, who was prescribed an expensive medication, with cost-saving suggestions for pharmacies. Compass is also helping her resolve a mix-up between her health care provider and insurance company by submitting dozens of documents on her behalf all free of charge.
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When time is of the essence
United Community Bank of West Kentucky expanded its benefits to include Life Flight Insurance after a harrowing experience of one of its employees. The employee’s husband suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2016 and had to be airlifted to a bigger city for treatment. Without the helicopter ride, he may not have survived.

The insurance provides employees with access to air ambulance services through Air Evac, an independently owned air ambulance provider. The Morganfield, Ky., bank pays a group rate available to businesses in its area of $55 per employee per year. The coverage is available to employees at no cost and also extends to their immediate family members.
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From cardio to cash
Being fit at the Best Banks can be rewarding monetarily, as City Bank proves. The Lubbock, Texas, bank offers a program that allows employees and their spouses to earn cash and paid time off for exercising and participating in other wellness activities. Last year, City paid out $194,000 and awarded 4,180 hours of paid time off.
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Health care at your doorstep
At Centier Bank in Merrillville, Ind., employees can tend to their health by visiting one of the bank’s eight OurHealth on-site clinics. Employees can take advantage of free doctor visits, lab work and prescriptions. The clinics’ doctors focus on treating the patient’s total health and not just his or her acute need. Centier also provides on-site health coaches, allergy shots and treatment for diabetes.
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Doctor’s orders
Other banks go a step further and ensure employees have access to a doctor 24 hours a day. River Valley Bank in Wausau, Wis., Evergreen Bank Group in Oak Brook, Ill., First National Bank Alaska in Anchorage, FirstCapital Bank of Texas in Midland and Helm Bank USA in Miami partner with Teladoc. Through Teladoc, employees can be treated by a doctor remotely via the telephone, internet or videoconference.

Helm started offering the service in January 2017, and since then employees have used it to be treated for the common cold and flu, allergies, bronchitis, urinary tract and respiratory infections and sinus problems.

City Bank uses MDLIVE, which gives employees access to doctors or therapists around the clock through virtual visits.
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Balancing act
American Savings Bank in Honolulu strives to make living a healthier life fun. Employees and their friends and family can take part in LifeBalance, a health and wellness program that offers on-site health coaching, fitness classes and activities and educational workshops. Employees can enjoy yoga, Pilates, meditation workshops, chair massages and other activities to relieve stress and fatigue.

Employees are awarded makana points – which means gift in Hawaiian – for completing wellness challenges, years of service and various sales and training programs. They can then spend the points through an online catalog to buy everything from Walmart and Amazon gift cards to an Instapot pressure cooker and weed eater.

The Honolulu bank also offers coverage for alternative care, including acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy.
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Don’t forget Fido
A number of Best Banks, including HomeTown Bank in Roanoke, Va., and TowneBank in Portsmouth, Va., provide health insurance not only for employees, but for their pets as well.

At TowneBank, employees can choose from three different plan options that cover accidents and illnesses, prescription medications and special treatments. For working at the bank, employees receive a 10% discount.

HomeTown’s pet insurance includes an online portal that preserves all medical records and claims. There is a mobile app for electronic claims submission and payment.