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4 Challenges for Small Business Mental Health Benefits Beyond COVID

An often overlooked impact of COVID is its effect on employees' mental health, particularly in small businesses. A survey recently revealed that employees in small companies feel a lack of support from their bosses regarding their mental wellbeing - even though they may feel they are providing adequate support. Here's a short break-down the hindrances small business owners, like you, may face in offering satisfactory health benefits to your team - even after the pandemic blows over.


  1. Disparity in Mental Health Prioritization. 71% of small employers believe that they prioritize their employees' mental health, but only 60% of employees said their employers prioritized employee health. A reason for this disparity is the unexpected challenges brought on by COVID restrictions - for instance, the feeling of isolation fostered by remote work and disruptions in work-life balance.

  2. Top Management Pressure to Perform. Interestingly, even the employers' well-intentioned praise of their employees' 'resilience' could factor in dissuading employees from voicing their mental health concerns. This has led to the topic not being frequently discussed with upper management.'

  3. Passive Mental Health Solutions. Workplaces may need to go above and beyond the bare minimum of merely directing their employees to a website - a more personal approach is suggested to promote more openness. For instance, the management themselves can speak openly about their struggles, thereby encouraging their team to check in on each other. Telehealth is also something worth considering - the increased access has been shown to impact productivity positively.

  4. Cost and Biases Against Health Benefits. A crucial challenge for many small business owners is the perceived cost of offering health insurance benefits to their staff, as insurance is typically viewed as either a large-company perk or just part of America's broken healthcare system. However, the fact remains that health insurance as part of your benefits offerings is not only expected, but composes a significant portion of employees' compensation packages. In other words, offering benefits increases your chances of competing for and retaining talent.


The landscape is changing - small businesses are starting to realize that caring for their team's mental wellbeing may be crucial in retaining them in the long run. NY Small Health works with Cigna + Oscar to navigate the murky waters of the health insurance market and provide your small business with affordable insurance solutions to keep your employees happy and healthy. Contact a professional at NY Small Health to determine your company's unique needs and the challenges it faces, and make well-informed insurance decisions.



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