Burlington, Massachusetts

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Group Benefits Strategies congratulates the Town of Burlington for being featured in our first ever CLIENT SPOTLIGHT

Burlington has been a valued client since 2013. GBS works with Town administration, union representatives, carriers and wellness vendors to put in place a benefit package which helps the Town attract and retain talented employees. The Town was one of the first of GBS’ clients to introduce $1000/$2000 deductible plans to help manage health insurance premium increases. In doing do, GBS worked with the Town to give employees tools to manage their deductible and become smart consumers of health insurance. Programs like CanaRx alternative prescription purchasing allows members to get certain maintenance medications without a copay. Simple Save® offered by Shields MRI, and Abacus’ Diabetes Rewards® programs are examples of options available to employees to keep out-of-pocket costs down. The Town is currently evaluating a program which encourages and rewards employees to choose healthier options at the grocery store.

Burlington is unique in the way they approach changes to health insurance. They are ahead of the curve compared to many other municipalities. Their comprehensive wellness initiatives are inspired by all-around well-being – cooking classes, fitness challenges, yoga, etc.

Kate Sharry

President, Group Benefits Strategies

Joanne M. Faust, Human Resources Director
John D. Petrin, Town Administrator
Brian Curtin, Town Treasurer
Dr. Eric Conti, Superintendent

“The Human Resources Office and the Treasurer’s Office work closely to encourage employees and their family members to make choices that promote a healthy lifestyle. In a time where healthcare costs are rising, we see a responsibility to provide initiatives that correspond to smarter use of healthcare dollars.

Some of our activities include on-site workshops lead by experts on various wellness topics such as healthy eating, balancing work and family, parenting, stress reduction, mindfulness and healthy living. We also provide annual flu shot clinics for all employees. These programs were available to all Burlington employees and are offered in a variety of municipal and school locations to encourage attendance from all groups.

We have offered incentives for our employees to attend Lahey Clinic’s Freedom From Smoking program which to date has provided employees with a 100% quit rate and we continually receive excellent employee reviews. In the springtime we get our employees outside for a walking challenge and sponsor a team to participate in the Harvard Pilgrim 5K.

Our employees enjoy our annual Wellness Fair which showcases over 35 wellness providers and includes health screenings, activities, and information on numerous health-related topics. We also piloted a self-directed Healthy Holiday program that was quite popular and provided information, encouragement, and incentives to make informed eating choices during the holiday season.

Our wellness initiatives will continue to focus on education and encouragement to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We will also continue to assist our employees in utilizing the benefits programs offered to them in the most efficient way possible, which include use of local urgent care clinics for a $20 Office Visit copay and avoiding the $200 Emergency Room copay, waived copays for imaging that occurs at a free-standing facility such as Shields MRI, encouraging use of mail order prescriptions and offering free brand-name prescriptions through BurlingtonScripts, and free diabetes medication and supplies through the Good Health Gateway.

It is our hope that by encouraging our employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while best taking advantage of the programs available to them, we will all see positive impacts both in our health insurance claims and in the well-being of our employees and their families.”