News story Spending Review and Autumn Statement
The numbers of undiagnosed cases are probably a lot higher than that.
But the impact mental illness has on workplaces is felt in a very real way — from loss of productivity levels, excessive tardiness and absenteeism, to actual loss of employees because of the often debilitating symptoms mental illness comes with. Mental illness costs everyone Major mental illness costs the U.
It makes good business sense, then, to offer full mental health employee benefits to the workforce. Experts advise that early intervention is the key to reducing the costs and incidents of serious mental illness in employees. So too, early intervention is shown to provide the best possible outcome for those who are experiencing any kind of mental illness.
When mental illness is left untreated or undiagnosed, or when employees have limited access to treatment options, they do not get well on their own — and this can all hurt the bottom line of your business in the long run. Mental health protection is the law Under the Affordable Care Act, as ofall private and individual medical plans must offer at least the minimum coverage for mental health screenings, substance use services, and preventative care.
This requirement is also for medical plans purchased via state marketplaces. Additionally, group benefit plans cannot deny coverage to anyone just because they have a history of mental illness.
Protections required under MHPAEA require plan administrators to treat mental illness without restrictions, much like the approval process for approving a surgical procedure.
Medicare and Medicaid also provide basic coverages for mental health wellness and substance abuse treatment. These laws help to protect mental health consumers from being discriminated against by health insurance providers and support those with limited incomes to pay for services, but there are still many stigmas to mental health so that some employees deny that they need help.
Other potential barriers to getting help include missing work for therapy appointments, or taking unpaid leave to complete a day substance abuse treatment program.
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Unless there is a good insurance plan in place to help defray the costs of quality mental health care and employers do their part to educate employees about their available benefits; many employees simply go without until they find themselves hospitalized for a major breakdown.
Others may self-medicate with illicit drugs, alcohol and negative behaviors.
In workplaces, undiagnosed and untreated mental illness shows itself in the way that individuals relate to coworkers and clients. It can tear teams and companies apart. It can cause normally wonderful employees to turn into toxic employees. For these reasons and more, any business can benefit from providing generous group mental health benefits to its workforce.
Employers who value their employees and want to demonstrate this can easily furnish mental health benefits any time of the year, whether the health insurance plan includes this care or not.
Here are some ideas for getting a mental health benefit program in place and make sure that people have access to the services they need to stay well. Have an Employee Assistance Program It is a good idea to get an employee assistance program lined up as soon as possible in your organization.
This can cost pennies on the dollar for each employee, but the value is immense. EAPs provide direct access to confidential professionals who can assist employees with any area of concern that may be causing them distress — from work-related issues to family problems and mental illness.
Employees can be directed to counseling sessions, or they may be eligible for short-term treatment; facilitated by the EAP team. Learn more about employee assistance programs here.
This can be a way to ensure that employees always have a lifeline where they can get help when they need it the most. They can get health and medical questions answered to determine if follow-up care with a mental health care provider is warranted or if a visit to the emergency room is needed.
Ensure behavioral benefits included As mentioned above, the ACA requires insurance plans to offer a basic level of mental health coverage, but this can be limited somewhat. Employees who are used to high deductible health care plans may not see the value in using their insurance to pay for counseling sessions — instead reserving their medical dollars for major hospitalization or planned procedures.
As an employer, find employee benefits that offer above-average mental health coverage and provide a health savings account to offset out of pocket costs when combined with HDHPs. Communication should be shielded Employees may or may not be comfortable discussing their mental health challenges with a manager, or even members of their own family.
Oftentimes, situations can be handled through a referral to a qualified mental health provider, or by mediating any issues through the EAP.By Tess Taylor, lausannecongress2018.com How does a mental health benefits package help both employees and your bottom line?
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