Request Demo

    Eventually, every member of an organization will succumb to personal or professional challenges that affect their workplace performance. These problems usually emerge despite employers advocating for supportive interventions.

    While the genesis of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) was meant to minimize the effects of alcoholism, it has since expanded to address a wide range of concerns like stress, bereavement, mental health disorders,  depression, and substance abuse.

    Sometimes employees fail to address their issues for fear of being stigmatized. Due to this, employers are now taking greater care to ensure their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are robust, accessible, and comprehensive so that employees can access counseling and therapy services to keep them on track. This increased attention to detail has brought to light an interesting consideration for businesses looking to implement the most effective EAP: How to choose between a full-service EAP and an embedded EAP.

    Read on to discover the benefits of a full-service EAP over an embedded EAP.

    Types of EAPs

    There are two main types of EAPs: embedded and Full-service. Full-service EAPs are often provided by companies specializing in employee well-being, benefits, and mental health. The affected employees do not accrue co-payments, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs.

    On the other hand, embedded EAPs are typically provided as an add-on service by insurance carriers or healthcare providers and while they often look enticing on paper, they operate much differently and have some major drawbacks to consider.

    Drawbacks of Embedded EAPs

    While most insurance and healthcare companies label their embedded EAP services as "free," this couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the price is often bundled with other products. Their usage and costs are also intertwined with their premiums and co-payments. Embedded EAPs are also less comprehensive because they exclude critical services.
    When dealing with an urgent workplace situation, the carrier is unlikely to help in a timely manner, as they are not meant to support in-the-moment help. In addition, these embedded programs come with numerous limitations that most buyers are unaware of.

    Firstly, they are not comprehensive and as such, do not offer specialized services like management referrals, face-to-face counseling, critical incident responses, and promotional services.

    Secondly, since they can only be accessed through the employee's insurance company, the services rendered may sometimes be difficult to reach between limited providers and long wait times. 

    Thirdly, embedded EAPs tend to be reactive in nature, meaning they only provide services when a presenting problem has been prolonged or progressively gotten worse. This doesn’t allow businesses to address their employee’s needs proactively or promptly, making it harder to foster an environment with happier employees and less costly healthcare claims.

    Finally, companies cannot tailor their coverage to their specific needs due to a lack of customization options and are stuck with a one-size-fits-all approach.

    Benefits of Full-Service EAPs

    A full-service EAP can benefit your employees more than the embedded EAP services that are typically offered through a health insurance company.

    Choosing an embedded EAP means compromising the value of the EAP service. However, full-service EAPs, also called standalone EAPs, are specialized businesses designed to enhance employee and organizational well-being. They offer all the employee benefits that help resolve your employees' fundamental needs and issues, and high-quality ones will have a comprehensive range of benefits beyond traditional support options to further enhance workplace well-being.

    According to a recent research study by Stitch Marketing, more than 80% of companies view the full EAP service as a must-have.

    Full-service EAPs often achieve better results in the following areas:

    Full-service EAPs offer a comprehensive package with a wide range of services, including counseling, support groups, referrals to other services, assessments for at-risk members, immediate access to clinicians, and health coaching, all while providing continuous feedback. Moreover, the service is accessible to all employees.

    A Proactive Approach
    Full-service EAPs are not mandatory for everyone, but the services are tailored to the company's and employees' specific needs. For example, if an employee needs help losing weight or making healthier choices, health and life coaching is available and encouraged. If an employee needs in-the-moment support with a clinician, they have immediate access. If a manager would like coaching to enhance their management skills, executive coaches are on hand for educational sessions.

    Better Outcomes
    When you partner with a full-service EAP, you can be confident that you’re being served by a team of experienced and high-quality clinicians who do this work day in and day out. Therefore, account management, promotion, engagement, and outcomes surpass the traditional EAPs that are embedded with your insurance company. It’s typical to receive a dedicated Account Manager to meet with you regularly and share the outcomes and effectiveness, backed by evidence-based engagement reports.

    Embedded EAPs make EAP costs challenging to discern due to insurance premiums and the murky nature of pricing being interconnected and not transparent. Employees can access services they might not otherwise be able to afford when they have access to a full-service EAP.

    Mental health and tax-planning services may not be affordable or accessible to most employees. However, the full EAP service is cost-effective to provide employees with all the necessary services.

    Why Choose a Full-Service EAP

    As evidenced by the facts above, full-service EAPs can benefit employees and employers significantly more than embedded EAP services, and there is no reason not to opt for them. Your employees will feel confident about addressing their issues, and their counselor's intervention will be thorough and timely.

    As previously mentioned, other benefits of using this service include inclusivity, proactivity, more control, and better outcomes. When businesses implement a full-service employee assistance program, they will see a significant increase in performance, productivity, engagement, and morale.

    Other posts you might be interested in

    View All Posts