One in four workers with increased medical expenses report mental health impacts

More than a quarter (27%) of employees with employer-sponsored health insurance said these expenses had a major impact on their mental health, while 16% said they had a major impact on their mental health. the well-being of their families.

More than a quarter (27%) of employees with employer-sponsored health insurance said these expenses had a major impact on their mental health, while 16% said they had a major impact on their mental health. the well-being of their families. These results come from the Centivo Health Care and Financial Sacrifice Survey, 2021, where 805 U.S. respondents aged 18 to 64 were asked whether they had suffered any medical expenses in the past two years.

Employers with 500 or more employees say employee mental and emotional health will be a top priority over the next 3-5 years, according to a 2021 Mercer survey. The Kaiser Family Foundation also found that four in 10 employers (39%) say they have made changes to their mental health and addiction benefits since the start of the pandemic.

“American employers are rightly concerned about the mental health of their workforce during this time of immense societal change and disruption caused by the pandemic,” said Centivo Chief Medical Officer Dr. Wayne Jenkins. “We urge employers, however, not to just add another solution to their already overburdened benefit plans, but to first examine some of the root cause affordability issues within their core health plans and the impact of these problems on the increase in mental health problems among workers. “

The need for employers to reassess the overall affordability of the health plan is underscored by the Centivo survey which reveals that the less respondents saved, the more likely they are to report that major medical expenses had an impact on their mental health. . In fact, it’s only when respondents reported more than $ 10,000 in savings that they also report low levels of mental health and family well-being issues.

Affordability of health care is also correlated with sacrifices in care, including mental health care; 20% of those surveyed with significant medical expenses said they missed or delayed mental health care or needed counseling due to cost issues.

“We believe that fundamental changes in the design of an employer’s health plan could have a significant and positive impact in reducing mental health problems,” Jenkins said. “Measures like eliminating deductibles, providing a simple and predictable co-payment, and free primary care visits are all realistic improvements that can really help today’s average American workers who are so vulnerable in the midst of our current healthcare affordability crisis. ”

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