How Health Insurance Helps Employees Thrive With Crucial Mental Health Support

Mental Health Support
A recent survey by LifeWorks Inc. found 25 per cent of Canadian employees are experiencing increased tension or conflict at work. Health insurance now plays a vital support role.

If one quarter  of Canadian employees are experiencing increased tension or conflict at work, according to LifeWorks Inc.’s summer 2022 mental-health index, is your small business prepared to help?

Survey says…

Reporting on tension and conflict in the workplace, the surveyed employees aged 40 and younger noted they were experiencing this 80 per cent more than workers aged 50 or older. And managers reported a lower mental-health score than non-managers.

Mental-health scores were higher when:

  • Employees worked fewer hours
  • Employees had emergency savings in place.

For working parents, over 25% report that their dependant children are experiencing anxiety about the future due to the events of recent years.

Health insurance helps with well-being support

Providing resources to ensure your employees and their families can thrive can help your business success. While you may not be able to control hours worked or ensure employees are saving, you can help protect their health and emergency savings from out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

As more employees deal with mental health challenges themselves or with their family members from stress and burnout to anxiety, depression, and substance use problems, health insurance provides a strong foundation of support.

While treatment from a general practitioner will usually not cost an employee anything, expenses for other therapy to help employees cope with life’s hurdles including individual, marriage and family therapy, or addiction counselling, can really add up. Visits for counselling provided by a psychologist or social worker can help an employee think about their problems differently and give them ways to manage — and the fees charged can be covered under the health insurance you provide, up to a plan maximum covered per year.

Ensure your employees are aware of how your health insurance plan can help

  • It delivers many “built in” tools to help employees learn new ways to deal with the expected and unexpected in life including mindfulness tools, motivational programs to help them focus and achieve their health goals and access to recent articles on finding care, managing their health, and preventing illness.
  • Whether your employee is a young mother with anxiety, is ready to address substance use or has a spouse, child or elder diagnosed with a serious illness, health insurance covers prescription medication which may be a part of the solution they need to decrease their suffering from stress.
  • Expenses for therapy with marriage and family or addiction counsellors are reimbursed to plan maximums, and both in person and virtual appointments are eligible.

You can encourage your employees to download the apps available with most health and dental insurance plans to make managing their mental health easier.

Employee using online tool

Consider the benefits of an Employee Family Assistance Program

Review your current health plan’s support features and consider the benefits of a plan that includes an employee assistance program. With monthly premiums for 3 employees starting at about $100 per month, and availability up to 10 employees, GMS Group Advantage Plan allows you to choose the health and/or dental plan that best suits your employees’ needs to cover health, vision and prescription drugs and add on dental care for services ranging from routine and basic services, to major procedures and orthodontic services. You can calculate your monthly premium immediately — no need to wait for a quote, and you can use the simple application process with no medical questions.

The plan includes Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) at no extra cost that provides employees with anytime access to online resources like wellness assessments, child and elder care resource locators and e-learning courses. Employees can use over-the-phone lifestyle coaching for shift-worker support, smoking cessation, relationship solutions, grief, and loss, legal advice, and financial consultation. Confidential counselling services for employees and their dependents can help with relationship or family concerns anxiety, depression, or addiction issues

Offer exclusive coverage to supplement existing health benefits

Manulife’s Association and FlexCare Health & Dental Insurance plans are individual plans and  can be a strong alternative for your small business to offer to employees at their primary health plan, or to supplement existing group benefits

  • Plans may be offered to full-time and part-time employees and 100% participation is not required
  • Employees can keep their coverage plan no matter where they work within Canada Your business does not need to have a plan administrator, which saves you money and time compared to a group plan.
  • You can take advantage of flexible payment terms savings when you pay semi-annually or annually

There is no cut off age for when you can apply for many plans regardless of changes to your health, your coverage is guaranteed renewable once you are enrolled in the plan.

Ready to help your employees’ mental health? We can help.

Mental health issues have a huge impact on your workforces’ productivity. Left untreated by medications and therapies, employees will miss work, or their condition will make it harder to do their job and impact their work performance. Having prescription drug and extended health coverage allows employees to address issues promptly and properly, reducing time away from work.

Making health insurance available can be critical to keeping your team on task and making your business successful. At SBIS, we specialize in helping small business owners make the best possible decisions on what individual or small group health insurance plan will work for best your employees. Call us at 1-800-667-0429 Monday to Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET or go online to discover small business health insurance options for yourself.


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