Groups with 10 or more employees can now purchase an Employee Assistance Program through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. An EAP provides employees with short-term counseling and referral services that help employees manage stress, legal and financial problems, depression, alcohol dependence and addiction at no-cost to the employee. “Groups have asked for an EAP product from Blue Cross and we are happy to respond to that feedback,” said Kevin Stutler, vice president, Enterprise Ancillary Business and President and CEO of LifeSecure. New Directions Behavioral Health will provide and administer the EAP product. EAP offerings for employees include:
- 24/7 call center to talk with licensed behavioral health professionals
- Experts who can refer employees to counseling, health plan, legal, financial or community services they need for any life challenges
- Short-term counseling that can be customized for each individual challenge
- A network of attorneys and financial counselors who can provide legal expertise and advice on a multitude of challenges — for example, legal documents for wills, estate planning, asset sales and more
- Weekly tips and advice on how to work through stress, parenting, being your best at work and other helpful material — delivered right to your inbox
- The ability to launch the benefit in as little as 30 minutes, especially in times of crisis
What’s in it for employers?
- Lower health care costs
- Reduce Absenteeism
- Minimize Legal Liabilities
- Happy, Healthy, Productive Employees
- Recruiting and Retention Tool
EAPs are proven to lower health care costs because they can be used before an employee turns to using their medical benefits. For example, the free counseling sessions can be used before the employee taps into the mental health benefits that are part of the medical coverage. The programs can also reduce absenteeism because employees are dealing with the issues that may cause them to take time off. Plus, an EAP doesn’t have to align with a group’s benefit year. The group can choose to offer it to employees at any time during the year. For more information, contact your BCBSM Sales Representative or Agent.