Colorado's Best Companies 2006: 1st Place, Nonprofit Category






• Company-paid HMO health insurance plan for both full-time and part-time (20+ hours a week or more) employees.

• Dedicated workout rooms in most locations; discounted fitness memberships at four metro-area health clubs.

• “Second String” daycare center at Waterpark I facility also offers backup care and physicians on-site for employees’ children who are mildly sick.

• Seven private on-site lactation rooms, and more opening soon.

• Fees waived for employees to attend health education classes on topics like stress skills, weight management, family caregiver support and smoking

Kaiser Permanente
Colorado is the state’s largest group practice health care organization, with more than 5,500 health plan employees and physicians at 18 medical offices in Colorado. This large employer offers a surprisingly personalized array of benefits for its employees, from sponsoring an old-fashioned family picnic at Six Flags Elitch Gardens to its popular annual Rest, Relax and Rejuvenate program that gives employees free chair massages and aromatherapy.

“A healthy and supported workforce is essential to ensuring that our members get the service and quality they deserve,” notes Donna Lynne, Kaiser Permanente Colorado president. Lynne is also a parent, and she attests that this award recognizes the importance the company puts on work-life balance.

Employees receive generous health-care benefits; Kaiser Permanente offers no cost-share premiums for medical and dental coverage for both employees and their families through its HMO plan, and part-time employees who work 20 hours per week or more are eligible for the plan. The company is committed to well care and preventative medicine, providing benefits such as mammography, immunizations and well checkups for free. It introduced a new benefit last year that allows employees to add their parents and parents-in-law 65 years of age and older to their health insurance plans. “We want to help our employees improve their health at any stage in life,” says Jacque Montgomery of Kaiser Permanente Media Relations. “We recognize that many of our employees are in the ‘sandwich’ generation, caring for children and aging parents at the same time.”

Most Kaiser Permanente medical facilities and office buildings have a dedicated workout room, and the company provides discounted memberships at four Denver metro fitness facilities. The KP Be Well program offers health education classes in subjects like healthy lifestyles, weight management, women’s health and stress skills. The company promotes healthy eating by providing a full-time dietician to help with meal planning, exercise therapists who develop wellness programs for employees, healthier options in all of its vending machines and the IncentalHEALTH program that offers education, motivation and financial incentives for weight loss. “We want to help our employees find balance during the workday as well,” Montgomery explains. “Promoting healthy lifestyles helps our employees feel more energized and think more clearly.”

In 1997, Kaiser Permanente established a “Flexible Workplace Arrangement” that provides numerous flexible scheduling opportunities for employees. One popular arrangement that many employees take advantage of is an 8.5-hour work day with a day off every other week; others opt for flexible start and stop times or 4/10 schedules.

The company provides a totally employer-funded retirement plan. Non-represented staff with two or more years of service can participate in the self-directed account and may receive additional employer contributions when financial results exceed the annual target by a predefined percentage. In addition, Kaiser Permanente offers a 403B tax sheltered annuity (TSA) salary deferral plan for all its employees, and a pension plan for staff members with one year of service or more.

It’s not just the employees who receive excellent benefits from Kaiser Permanente; the company is known for its community-minded activities as well. It recently sponsored an all-day health fair that gave services and free care to 3,000 uninsured people, including dental screening, immunizations, women’s well exams, vision exams, cholesterol tests, diabetes screening and even a car seat safety check. “Part of our mission is to give back to the community,” Montgomery says. “We’re interested in improving not only our members’ lives but our community as well.”