A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of June 2022 U.S. Census data shows that — nationally — 32.8% of people reported symptoms of depression or anxietyIt increased from 11% in 2019. The need for more accessible mental health support is urgent and growing. And employer-provided health plans that cover more than half of Americans provide essential services to those who need support and counseling. in fact, 41 million people – about 1 in 4 Americans – In 2020, they received mental health support through coverage provided by their employer. This includes 6 million children who receive mental health services and treatment through a parent or guardian’s employer plan.
A 2022 AHIP Member Survey Health insurance providers highlight that commercial insurance plans, including employer-provided plans, are making high-quality mental health care more accessible and affordable for millions of Americans. The study compiled responses from health insurance providers covering more than 95 million people and found that commercial health plans are expanding benefits, increasing the number of network providers and connecting consumers to care.
Growing mental health care provider networks
The AHIP survey of health insurance providers found that commercial health plans have an average of 1,851 in-network behavioral health care providers per 100,000 enrollees. This represents a It has increased by 48 percent. In the last 3 years.
Health insurance providers are aware of their behavioral and mental health networks at all levels of care—psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and other behavioral health providers—through both active recruitment (89% of these studiesed are actively recruiting mental health care providers) and increasing provider fees (78% have increased payments to in-network providers.).
Additionally, all of the commercial health plans surveyed offer in-network coverage for telehealth services — giving patients in traditionally underserved areas easy access to a wider range of care providers. For those covered by their job, tele-mental health services provide critical access to support.
“Employer-provided coverage was important to many people.” Dr. Jenny Martin said. “Telehealth, in particular, with behavioral health interventions has been a lifesaver.”
Connecting patients to care
In the year In 2020, more than half of those with employer-provided coverage who sought mental health care received care through a primary care provider (PCP).. PCPs know their patients best, and are often the first point of contact with the health care system when someone has a concern. Health insurance providers are providing mental health training and support to PCPs, as well as facilitating referrals to specialists and making telehealth services available so these frontline health care providers can more easily address their patients’ mental health needs.
Health insurance providers are also helping patients directly. Most of the business plans surveyed (83%) help members get appointments with behavioral health providers, and help patients navigate their care and find other types of support — including transportation or community organizations.
Employers continue to invest in employee safety.
Health insurance providers also work directly with employers to provide additional services to employees who receive coverage through employment. 4 out of 5 employers Offer employee-assistance programs (EAP) as a benefit to support mental health and help with non-medical issues that affect work and home life.
“Mental health coverage, in particular, is one of the ways we say, ‘Yes, we really care,'” he said. Susan BluePresident and CEO of Community Services Group. As an employer, Susan understands how important it is to support the intellectual and emotional needs of her employees.
Employer-provided coverage is a vital resource for the nearly 180 million Americans who rely on high-quality, affordable health care and financial peace of mind. Mental health is an important part of a person’s overall health and well-being. Health insurers are building on what works by connecting members to the right care at the right time.