Expanding Mental Health Coverage: What Benefit Pros Need to KnowJohn Sanders
The way insurance covers mental health was greatly impacted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has affected many parts of society. One of the most dramatic changes in how it has induced depression, with one in three Americans now suffering from it. While anxiety disorders are not as common as depression, they are still prevalent in society. Around five percent of people globally live with anxiety disorders, one-quarter of which are severe diagnoses.
Most companies are starting to offer comprehensive mental health coverage for their employees, either voluntarily or as a result of regulatory requirements after the pandemic. This benefits not only the employee but also the employer since it can lead to higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and greater job satisfaction.
It is however important to consider the following:
Innovation is the key
The conversation between providers and patients is very necessary for the healthcare industry. A digital environment, where they can interact via text or voice, can provide treatment for people with mental health issues.
The only way healthcare will be able to keep up with technological advancements is if the company along with its employees work together as a community that is driven by innovation – without this attitude change from both patients and providers, many people will continue living unhealthy lifestyles.
Spend, but save more
Employers are starting to realize the importance of mental health in today’s modern workplace. The stigma surrounding mental health is being broken down. Mental health professionals are better trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses, which is increasing the number of people getting treatment each year.
Overall, employers will end up spending more on mental health care for their employees. This is because society has become more open about mental health, which has lowered the stigma around it. Mental illnesses are becoming more common throughout society and it’s gradually becoming easier for people to find treatment for them, which means that the need for hiring a therapist will increase in companies across all sectors of business.
Employers are now focusing more on how to improve employee health to reduce their healthcare costs.
It’s a win-win for companies and employees. Employees will take fewer sick days, and productivity will increase. The risk of people not being able to work because they are too sick or too tired will be eliminated.
Educate the companies
Although close to 40% of companies upgraded their mental health offerings during the pandemic, that still leaves a whopping 60% of companies that did not. This displays the disparity between company policies and workplaces.
Remote workforces can be a benefit to both employers and employees. Employers not only save on office space but also have increased productivity due to increased autonomy in the workforce. For employees, they can enjoy more flexible schedules, higher wages, or work from home.
Solving the access problem
With the health care shortage looming, telehealth is a viable option for those who live in rural areas or places where there’s great distance and resources.
The demand for health care providers is only going to increase as the population grows and ages. The future of health care will be a blend of both in-person and virtual care services to handle this increase. With companies preferring telehealth, doctors can be where they need to be even if they’re not there. Telehealth has the potential to make the doctor’s office accessible for more people who may not otherwise have access or live too far away from their doctor.
When you hear about the latest statistics on depression, it’s not hard to become overwhelmed with the idea of a never-ending uphill battle. The rates of depression are still high in today’s society. Depression is highly debilitating, it limits a person’s ability to function in everyday life and it doesn’t discriminate as to age or gender.
Despite all this, there are things we can do as a society to better understand this illness and help people cope with it – such as educating ourselves and advocating for mental health programs.