Student loan forgiveness is a trending benefit. Can it apply to physician employees?

By: Leah Worthy

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A recent Willis Towers Watson survey showed that more employers are adding student loan forgiveness to their benefit packages. Given that the average medical school debt exceeds the average undergraduate debt by over $160,000, it would be a significant financial commitment for a hospital to offer such a program to its employed physicians. The good news is, there are ways hospitals can structure their compensation packages to help their physicians with their student loans without breaking the bank. In fact, many physicians have told us that they are using their distributions from our Call Pay Solution to pay off their loans. Imagine what could be accomplished if programs were designed with this goal in mind.

 

One way for hospitals to help physicians with this common financial burden is to designate student loan repayment as a target benefit of reward programs like our Physician Employment Strategies. Unlike traditional repayment or forgiveness programs, our Physician Employment Strategies can be customized, making it possible for hospitals to require employees to remain on staff for a period of years in order to receive benefits such as loan repayment. This means that the program is equally advantageous to the organization as it can help prevent the loss of physician talent. The program also uses funding methodologies that allow the hospital to recover some of the costs associated with the program, making it a viable long-term solution. 

 

The features of our Physician Employment Strategies make it possible for hospitals to offer rewards that would otherwise be financially unfeasible in the healthcare industry. As trends like loan forgiveness come and go, it’s important for hospitals to have customizable programs in place, allowing them to offer competitive compensation packages without threatening their financial viability.

 

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