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Hy-Vee breaks new ground with part-time employee benefits plan

Midwestern chain says program is “first of its kind” in retail

Hy-Vee Inc. has introduced a benefits program for part-time employees that it calls the first of its kind in the retail industry.

The Midwestern grocer said the program offers 11 benefit options to its more than 58,000 part-time staff ages 19 and older. Spouses and dependents also are covered by the plan, whose options include health, dental and vision benefits; short-term disability, accident and critical illness coverage; hospital indemnity; group life, individual life and disability insurance; auto, homeowner and renter insurance; and pet insurance.

An employee-owned company, Hy-Vee is providing the benefits through its Midwest Heritage financial services subsidiary and Connecture, a web-based health insurance distribution platform.

Part-time Hy-Vee employees shop for medical insurance options and group benefits through an online portal, branded as the Hy-Vee Part-time Smart Choices Marketplace. Powered by Connecture, the portal uses smart features to help employees select benefits that best match their needs.

Medical insurance options cost as little as $200 a month, depending on electives and coverage type, Hy-Vee said. To help identify employee benefit needs, Hy-Vee and Midwest Heritage conducted a companywide survey, which showed that 80% of part-time employees consider benefits key to choosing a part-time position.

“We developed the new part-time employee benefits program with the goal of giving Hy-Vee a competitive advantage in the recruiting and retention efforts of our part-time employees,” Sheila Laing, chief administrative officer and executive vice president at Hy-Vee, said in a statement. “Benefits are an important component to the health and satisfaction of our employees. This program is unique in our industry and differentiates us from other retailers, while improving the lives of our employees.”

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee operates more than 245 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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