In today’s fast-paced, demanding work environment, prioritizing employee mental health is no longer a nicety – it’s a necessity. Mental health concerns are on the rise, impacting not just individuals but also the overall well-being and productivity of businesses.

Offering robust mental health coverage within your employee health insurance plan is a strategic investment that benefits both your workforce and your bottom line.


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The Growing Need For Mental Health Support

According to the National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year. Common conditions like anxiety, depression, and stress can significantly impact a person’s ability to work, leading to absenteeism, presenteeism (being physically present but mentally disengaged), and decreased productivity. 

The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these issues, with increased anxieties about job security, health concerns, and social isolation.

The American Psychological Association (APA), for example, believes that a happy and healthy workforce is beneficial not only for the employees, but for the employer’s bottom line, as well. 

According to an APA news release,

“Developing policies and practices supporting the mental health and well-being of all workers costs money, time, and energy. But evidence published by APA shows that the cost of failing to support employees’ psychological well-being is often far higher.

APA’s Striving for Mental Health in the Workplace initiative, launched in May 2022, found employees with high levels of stress are more likely to miss work or to show lower engagement and commitment while at work, which can negatively affect an organization’s bottom line. Even before the pandemic, employee stress levels were high.”

The piece goes on to point out that a 2018 analysis found the estimated cost of job stress nationwide was as much as $187 billion, with 70 to 90 percent of those losses resulting from declines in productivity. And things only got worse during the pandemic.


Mental Health Coverage: A Win-Win Option

By offering mental health coverage, employers and managers can make a clear statement that they value their employees’ well-being. This fosters a positive and supportive work environment, leading to several key benefits:

  • Improved Employee Engagement and Productivity: When employees feel supported in managing their mental health, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive. Studies show a direct correlation between good mental health and higher job performance.
  • Reduced Absenteeism and Presenteeism: Mental health concerns can lead to missed workdays and presenteeism, costing businesses valuable time and resources. Comprehensive mental healthcare can help employees manage their conditions effectively, reducing unplanned absences and presenteeism.
  • Lower Healthcare Costs: Early intervention and treatment for mental health issues can prevent them from escalating into more serious conditions requiring more intensive care. This translates to lower overall healthcare costs for both employers and employees.
  • Enhanced Employee Retention: In today’s competitive talent market, offering mental health benefits can be a significant differentiator. Employees who feel their mental health is valued are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and stay with their employers.
  • Improved Company Culture: When employees feel comfortable seeking help for mental health concerns, it fosters a culture of open communication and reduces stigma. This leads to a more positive and supportive work environment for everyone.

Additional Considerations

While we have focused on the benefits of mental health coverage for employees, it’s important to note, too, that mental health coverage can also benefit employers in other ways, such as:

  • Improved Employer Brand: Offering mental health benefits demonstrates your commitment to employee well-being, enhancing your employer brand and attracting top talent.
  • Reduced Legal Risk: Addressing mental health concerns proactively can help mitigate potential legal issues related to employee discrimination or disability claims.
  • Increased Employee Morale: A workforce that feels supported in managing their mental health is likely to have higher morale and overall job satisfaction.


a woman with her head on her fist sitting at a table conversing with someone before her


What To Look For In Mental Health Coverage

There are several key features to consider when evaluating mental health coverage options for your employee health insurance plan:

  • Network Adequacy: Ensure the plan offers access to a network of qualified mental health professionals, including therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists.
  • Coverage Levels: Look for plans that cover a variety of mental health services, including outpatient therapy, inpatient treatment, and medication.
  • Cost-Sharing: Consider co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums to ensure the plan is affordable for employees seeking mental health care.
  • Telehealth Options: Telehealth services offer convenient and accessible mental health care, allowing employees to receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Mental Health Support Resources: Look for plans that offer additional resources such as mental health hotlines, online support groups, and educational materials.


Beyond Coverage: Creating A Supportive Workplace Culture

Workplace culture matters, as Harvard University notes,

“A poor workplace culture can negatively impact a person’s wellbeing. It can also significantly impact the company’s bottom line, leading to low productivity and high turnover. In contrast, people working in companies that have a positive corporate culture are healthier, happier, more productive, and less likely to leave. Research also shows that companies with positive workplace cultures have higher average annual returns.”

Offering mental health coverage is an important first step to creating a more positive and supportive culture at work, but businesses can further support employee well-being by creating a culture that normalizes seeking help for mental health concerns. Here are some strategies:

  • Promote Mental Health Awareness: Organize educational workshops or seminars to educate employees about mental health conditions and encourage them to seek help if needed.
  • Destigmatize Mental Health Issues: Openly discuss the importance of mental health and create a safe space for employees to talk about their experiences.
  • Provide Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs offer confidential counseling and support services to employees and their families dealing with personal or work-related challenges.
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage employees to take breaks, utilize paid time off, and maintain healthy boundaries between work and personal life.

By prioritizing mental health and creating a supportive work environment, businesses can invest in their workforce’s well-being, leading to a happier, healthier, and more productive team.


Partnering With A Health Insurance Professional

Navigating the complexities of employee health insurance plans can be challenging. And a qualified health insurance broker can help you assess your company’s needs, compare different plans with mental health coverage options, and help you find the plan that best fits your budget and your workforce demographics.


Investing In The Mental Health Of Your Employees Is Investing In Your Business

Mental health coverage is no longer an optional add-on – it’s a crucial element of a comprehensive employee health insurance plan. By offering robust mental health benefits and creating a supportive work environment, businesses can empower their employees to thrive, achieve their full potential, and contribute to the company’s overall success.

At J.C. Lewis Insurance Services, we understand the importance of mental health in today’s workforce. Our team of experienced brokers can help you find the right employee health insurance plan with comprehensive mental health coverage options that meet your specific needs and budget.

We invite you to contact us today to discuss how we can help you create a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment for your team.


A Healthy Conclusion

Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being. By prioritizing mental health through comprehensive coverage and a supportive work environment, businesses can create a win-win situation for both employees and employers. Investing in mental health is not just the right thing to do – it’s a smart business decision.

For employers interested in diving a bit deeper into this crucial topic, here some key resources:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/ NAMI is a leading mental health advocacy organization that provides a wealth of information and resources for employers on workplace mental health, including toolkits and best practices.
  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): https://www.shrm.org/front-door SHRM is a professional association for HR professionals. Their website offers various resources on employee mental health, including articles, webinars, and toolkits. This resource can be particularly helpful as it focuses on practical guidance for HR departments.


a man in a therapy session, his hands are clasped and his knees are spread as he stares at the ground


Working With J.C. Lewis Means Always Having Trusted Advice

J.C. Lewis Insurance Services provides California and Arizona health insurance plans from leading health insurance providers that are fully licensed to operate within these states.

In addition, we work with seniors seeking Medicare supplemental and prescription drug plans. So, whether you have inquiries about Small Group Insurance (1-50 Employees), the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), or any other concerns that an employer may encounter, you can trust us to guide you toward the ideal solution.

Is your company ready to take the next step in supporting employee mental health? Contact us today to discuss your options for employee health insurance plans with comprehensive mental health coverage. Together, we can create a healthier and happier workplace for your team.