Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, employee mental health has become a bigger talking point for employers. Though the prevalence of mental health conditions steadily increased by 55 percent from 1990 until 2022, the World Health Organization found that the pandemic triggered an additional 25 percent increase in rates of anxiety and depression around the world.
Work environment has a strong influence on employee health, especially mental health. A positive workplace that values employee well-being has the power to help workers seek care to diagnose and treat mental health conditions, and can even contribute to recovery and inclusion efforts. A negative work environment can have equally dramatic results.
Employers play an undeniably important part in improving employee health. Though many companies have implemented mental health awareness initiatives and progressive policies for employees, getting the best treatment in the hands of workers is a challenge in and of itself. Choosing an employer-sponsored health insurance plan that truly prioritizes preventive health, including mental health care, can be tricky but can also prove advantageous for businesses in the long run.
Work-related stress can manifest in a variety of ways that result in damaging implications for employer and employee health. When an employee experiences anxiety and depression and has no access to proper support through their work, employers often see higher rates of presenteeism and absenteeism. Presenteeism and absenteeism lead to significant declines in productivity and, consequently, financial success. Today, 40 percent of US employees agree that their job harms their mental health, contributing to an extra $47.6 billion in unplanned absences due to mental health — a significant cost to employers and the US economy. Moreover, a 2018 study reported that the estimated cost of job stress across the country may reach as high as $187 billion, with 70 to 90 percent of those losses being caused by productivity declines.
Considering 40 percent of workers want better mental health benefits, the best employers understand that ignoring employee mental health concerns is not an option in today’s market. Prioritizing mental health care coverage prioritizes employee productivity, satisfaction, and well-being; all leading to business success.
Notably, many employees across industries are eager to find a job that centers their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Access to an employer-sponsored insurance plan that covers mental health treatment is so important to workers that 81 percent of employees report looking for workplaces that support mental health when seeking job opportunities. Thus, providing mental health coverage under a preventive health insurance plan shows workers that they are valued, aiding in the recruitment and retention of top talent in your industry.
If your workers are struggling with mental health conditions and are looking to their workplace for support, an innovative, comprehensive, and transparent employer-sponsored health insurance plan could be the missing link needed to take your business to the next level.
Mental health affects more than an employee’s emotional state; it impacts physical well-being. According to a 2022 McKinsey Health Institute report, researchers found strong evidence that poor mental health leads to consequences for both longevity and quality of life:
Severe mental health conditions can reduce life expectancy by 10-25 years.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation are linked to higher risks of strokes and heart attack — which can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Lack of social relationships is associated with inflammation and hypertension that exceeds clinical risk factors of chronic physical illnesses like diabetes.
However, the right health plan can help to address these issues.
Providing coverage for mental health services removes a major barrier that otherwise stops people from seeking care. A health plan with little to no copays and deductibles eliminates the fear many employees carry over surprise medical bills. As a result, employees are more motivated to go to the doctor for regular health screenings and check-ups, increasing the likelihood of catching and addressing illnesses before they become severe. Not only does employee health improve, but medical debt is lowered.
Furthermore, with mental health coverage, employees can start talk therapy and build a relationship with acute mental health providers like psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. Through an open and honest dialogue, a person works with their provider to identify, understand, and develop strategies to manage life stressors, including job-related stress. 75 percent of people who try talk therapy experience some benefit to their mental health. If employees are prescribed medication after a visit, pharmacy options under the best employer-sponsored health plan are easy and convenient for members to access.
Mental health treatment access under a comprehensive employer-sponsored plan makes a real difference for workers. Currently, less than a third of employers offer a health insurance plan that covers mental health care. Yet, among those workplaces that do offer coverage, 93 percent of employees said they can access effective mental health support under their plan. It’s clear employees want mental health coverage and are eager to use it.
Many mental health professionals don’t take insurance due to low rates from insurers that don’t cover the cost of the required administrative overhead. For some patients and providers, trying to get paid at a fair rate or get claims approved and paid can feel like a perpetual cycle of hoops to jump through that ends up delaying important care. This either leaves people unsure where to look for mental health services, or with a provider who takes insurance but isn’t up to quality standards.
However, no-cost-sharing health plans, or plans that cover essential care like mental health services, lessen the administrative burden placed on providers. These plans attract high-quality providers who can focus that time and attention on caring for their patients. Thus, plan members receive better care that is easier to find.
It’s no secret that the health care industry can be challenging to understand and health insurance plans are no exception. Great health insurance plans have a network of 24/7 support to not only guide employees through the process of seeking care but also help members navigate their plans. From exploring what benefits are available to searching for providers within various specialties, having a designated person available to support employees through the care-seeking process saves time and money while also reducing unnecessary stress.
The need for increased employee access to mental health care isn’t going away any time soon. Employers have a duty to provide workers with the best possible plan that improves employee health. An innovative, affordable employer-sponsored health plan that centers on mental health care is integral to establishing a healthy, happy workforce that helps companies thrive.
Curative is a health plan that employees and employers will love. Our plan focuses on affordability, engagement, and simplicity, so people feel confident getting the care they need, when they need it. Imagine—a health plan that actually delivers better health.
People shouldn’t avoid doctor visits out of fear of surprise medical bills. After completing a Baseline Visit in the first 120 days of joining Curative, one monthly premium will enable:
$0 out-of-pocket fees
$0 preferred prescriptions
$0 deductibles for in-network care.
Curative builds engagement with employees from day one by facilitating trusted relationships with a Baseline Visit and Care Navigator. Members will complete a Baseline Visit within 120 days of plan effective date to create an individualized, preventive care plan with a Curative Care Navigator to reach their health and wellness goals. We also ensure members are connected to our large and inclusive provider network.
Curative makes care management virtually stress-free. The Curative Pharmacy has a partnership with a national network of pharmacies and even offers same-day delivery (for select cities)*. Members can access virtual urgent care in partnership with NormanMD** in less than 10 minutes via messaging, audio, or video chat.
No copays. No deductibles. No...really. Curative is changing the way we view health insurance with a health plan that actually delivers health.
** Patients experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 (or the local emergency number) immediately.
To explore how Curative’s employer-sponsored plan prioritizes mental health care to improve employee health, visit us here.
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Coe, E. et al. (29 March 2022). Adding years to life and life to years. McKinsey. https://www.mckinsey.com/mhi/our-insights/adding-years-to-life-and-life-to-years#/
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