Understanding Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
It’s not just you. Health care can be mystifying.
You’re an intelligent business professional but navigating and decoding the volumes of material related to employee medical benefits can bend even the savviest mind. One of the more often misunderstood and misused health care benefits is the employee assistance program (EAP).
EAP is a work-based benefit to help employees resolve personal problems that may be adversely affecting their professional and personal lives. Many EAP services either directly or indirectly address mental health with the provision of short-term, solution-focused services to help employees better manage common life stressors such as relationship challenges, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, or other common issues.
Does Your Company Have an EAP?
A crisis or stressful situation is not the time to discover your company either doesn’t have an EAP or it isn’t a good fit for the organization. Many organizations choose to utilize EAP products that are packaged with other employee benefits, such as medical, life and disability insurance. The cost of those EAPs are embedded in the cost of other products or offered for a few pennies per employee. While these may be cost-effective options, they may not meet the specific needs of an organization’s culture or the nature of the work performed. These “free” EAPs have gained popularity but unfortunately are highly underutilized, as employees and even the employers don’t know about the program.
Do Your Employees Know You Have an EAP?
And it’s not just employers that misunderstand EAP, many employees either aren’t aware their company offers this benefit or, if they are aware, are concerned about confidentiality. While EAP services can benefit in times of crisis, the goal of EAP is to help employees before their mental or emotional health deteriorates to a crisis level. And employees who utilize EAP services voluntarily are assured of their right to confidentiality.
At BayCare, we’re dedicated to improving the health of our community. And that means not just physical health, but mental and emotional health too. That’s why as part of BayCare Behavioral Health, we offer EAP services to local organizations seeking a more hands-on approach to supporting their employees’ emotional well-being.
As a local EAP provider, we support employers with a local EAP option tailored to meet an organization’s needs and staffed by local mental health professionals who live and work in the communities they serve. Learn more about the impact a local EAP provider can have and the BayCare difference by downloading our white paper.