Have you noticed a difference in your employees’ attitudes and morale? It’s no surprise. Feelings of stress and anxiety have intensified throughout the last two years. In fact, approximately 60% of BC residents feel their mental health is in a worse state now than before the pandemic. Over the last year, we have also seen an increase in the number of drugs prescribed for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety and noticed higher than normal utilization rates for programs such as EAP. Consequently, we expect these trends, and the deterioration of mental health, to continue after the pandemic is over.
In an effort to support your employees before symptoms worsen – and you see rates of presenteeism/absenteeism, or worse, disability claims rise – we have made additional supports available through your extended health plan.
Increased Psychology Benefit
While many groups currently cover psychology benefits up to $500, we will supplement this benefit up to $2000. This supplementation is temporary and will be available until December 31, 2022.
Addition of Social Workers as an Eligible Therapist Under Your Coverage
Registered social workers are now eligible practitioners under the psychology benefit. As such, our benefits plan will now reimburse expenses related to a registered social worker through the extended health benefit.
Free Access to One-on-One Digital Therapy Through MindBeacon
Currently, MindBeacon’s self-help tools are available to our members at no cost. The Therapist-Guided Program and Live Therapy Sessions are also services available under their plans. Though these are accessible, we know employees are more likely to use a service if they don’t have to pay out of pocket first – even if the expense is reimbursable. To remove this hurdle, we have collaborated with MindBeacon, so eligible employees and dependents covered under our benefits plan can now access MindBeacon’s Therapist-Guided Program – without the stress of paying out-of-pocket.
Direct Communication of Mental Health Resources to Employees
We’re all experiencing a flood of emails about mental health these days. It can be overwhelming receiving, filtering through, and choosing which pieces to distribute to employees. That’s why we’re taking some of that burden off our members’ hands. We will encourage mental health resource usage as a part of phase 2 of our COVID-19 Crisis Relief Plan by directly emailing employees with mental health resources.