Burnout is real across the country right now, especially for the healthcare workers who have spent two long years on the front lines of a pandemic. Nursing burnout rates are as high as 70% in some places, and unprecedented numbers of caregivers are reporting that the unrelenting global health crisis has done significant damage to their mental health. Some are opting to walk away from their current positions, or even the medical field entirely.
There is one factor that plays a critical and sometimes unexpected role in anyone’s choice to leave a position: student loans. The debt looms over millions of Americans, but healthcare workers often shoulder a particularly expensive burden—nurses typically carry anywhere between $19,000 to $47,000 in student loan debt, nurse practitioners can have as much as $55,000, and doctors often borrow more than $200,000 to complete their schooling. Amidst the stress of caregiving during a pandemic, healthcare workers now have the return of student loan payments to look forward to come August.
Unique Challenges (and Opportunities) for Every Department
When healthcare workers have a tough time, so do the teams that hired them. You’ve worked hard to source incredible talent, and you want to retain the people that provide quality care to every patient who comes through the door of your institution.
But hospital HR and benefit teams have more of an opportunity than they may realize to provide benefit incentives that let their employees know they’ve got their back. With the recent sweeping changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness, more hospital workers than ever have the chance to have their loans fully forgiven after making 120 payments while working for a qualified employer. The Limited Waiver has allowed many borrowers to capitalize on past work or receive credits for payments that would not have previously qualified.
Thanks to those changes, it’s possible that some healthcare workers may be on the verge of having their loans forgiven—or even receiving a refund if they have made more than 120 qualifying payments.
Give Our Caregivers a Helping Hand
There has never been a more urgent time to provide healthcare workers with the benefits that will help them stay on your team and keep the quality of care at your organization high. A recent study from Fidelity found that one of those sought-after benefits is student loan payment assistance.
If you’re not part of the 42% of employers who already offer that assistance, it’s time to join the crowd. As the country gears up to start paying student loans after more than two years off, already burnt-out borrowers will have yet another stressor on their plate. Being the employer that helps to alleviate that stressor could be the difference that gets them to stay.
Whether you’ve already got a system in place or are starting from scratch, Summer can help you provide your employee population with the tools they need to capitalize on the PSLF waiver period. Summer is the only tool that has fully digitized the employer certification form for PSLF enrollment, and we do all the heavy lifting for you. When using Summer, it takes a median time of just 11 minutes to submit a form. The results? An average of $347 that your employees get to save every single month, and an average projected forgiveness for them of $84,727.
Since all PSLF documents must be submitted by October 31, 2022, a digital tool will quicken and streamline the administrative process of helping each of your eligible employees get one step closer to financial freedom.
It’s not easy to be a nurse, doctor or administrative employee right now. But as a healthcare employer, your team has an opportunity to lighten their load (and yours). Book an intro call with a Summer student loan expert to learn more about how a digital PSLF solution can help you make an impact before the Limited Waiver period closes.