In years past, it was a common assumption that employee assistance programs were best suited to producers who sold group health plans.
Today, health insurance industry consolidation has reduced the number of producers selling health plans exclusively. Producers who want to build their client base may want to consider pairing EAPs with group life or disability plans.
For employers, the benefits of EAPs are obvious. Employees face longer hours, higher productivity demands, and pressure associated with balancing work, family and personal needs. In addition, many employees have fears of terrorism or uncertainty regarding war. Debt, child care and elder care issues pile on yet more stress. All that stress increases absenteeism, turnover, and medical and disability claims rates.
Many employers adopted the early EAPs to comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, which requires businesses with federal contracts of $25,000 or more to maintain a drug-free workplace. The early EAP services focused on mental health, with an emphasis on helping employees cope with alcoholism and drug use.