The coronavirus pandemic has changed lifestyles around the world and compelled us all to cope and adapt to new ways of life. An often overlooked consequence is the virus’ effect on our mental health. Several Americans have reported a decline in their mental health - the WHO stated 45% of adults in the U.S. are experiencing severe distress at the moment. Besides global calamities, 1 out of every 5 Americans suffer from some kind of mental disease, ranging from mood disorders to eating disorders and personality disorders. The problem with this statistic? Less than half of these individuals actively seek out and receive professional treatment. This has been largely attributed to either a lack of awareness and/or a health plan that does not provide mental health coverage.
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 was passed to ensure that group health plans and health insurance providers gave the same benefits towards mental health coverage as given to medical/surgical health coverage. While this Act doesn’t apply to small employers (companies with less than 50 employees), you should consider providing mental health benefits as a strong employee-retention and attraction tool. It can give you a competitive edge over other small employers. Here’s how:
The productivity losses related to employees’ mental health conditions far exceed the costs of providing mental health coverage and professional treatment.
Most product offerings, while requiring skilled labor, usually involve draining, repetitive tasks. Employees may succumb to depression or a lack of esteem, leading to numerous other issues - both medical and mental. Offering mental health benefits can nip the problem in the bud and avoid the overuse of perhaps unnecessary medical services.
Preventing mental diseases can prevent several of the indirect costs associated with absenteeism, faulty products, flawed decision-making and poor performance.
This knowledge of mental health benefits can morph into wisdom when you realize what kind of coverage and benefits would be more suited to your office’s demographic. Once that is established, take the time to create awareness and eliminate the stigma around therapy and treatment for mental diseases. Since it’s not physical, encourage your team to recognize and acknowledge all of their mental ailments; then urge them to seek help. With proper coverage, your employees will be more than glad to comply and receive the help they need. The experts at NY Small Health can aid you in seeking out the right group health insurance plans for your team that will provide the most comprehensive coverage possible.