Employer-provided coverage offers an essential path to accessing high-quality and affordable mental health support and counseling in communities across the country. One central Florida community leader on mental health recognizes how employer-provided coverage is a pathway to affordable mental health care.
Marni Stahlman has served as the President and CEO of the Mental Health Association of Central Florida since 2020 and has more than 35 years of experience in health care delivery management. The organization is a leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental wellness and equitable access to mental health care by providing mental health services, support, and information to the members of the Central Florida community.
In a video for the Coverage@Work campaign, Marni shared that “many individuals rely on employer sponsored health insurance to access mental health services, and this coverage can provide access to a wide range of professionals, including therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors.”
Getting the Help They Need
Increasingly, Americans have access to mental health support is through employer-provided coverage. Research conducted by AHIP’s Coverage@Work campaign shows that nearly 1-in-4 Americans — 41 million people — received mental health support through their employer-provided coverage. That includes six million children who received mental health support as a dependent through an employer-provided plan.
Stahlman stressed, “especially now as we’re coming out of our third-and-a-half year of COVID. We’re seeing this be a prevalent issue not just in the workspace, but in the home space, the school space, the faith space, and so it’s critically important.”
Making Mental Health Care More Affordable
Employer-provided coverage also helps make mental health services more affordable for individuals and their families. On average, patients spent less than $15 in out-of-pocket costs for most drugs prescribed to treat mental health conditions, according to the Coverage@Work survey. Stahlman states, “obviously, this is a service that can be expensive and having insurance coverage can significantly reduce the cost of out-of-pocket therapy sessions and medications, which are so essential to the treatment.”
Easing the Stigma Around Mental Health
Mental health services being offered as a part of one’s regular employer plan helps reduce the stigma to individuals that mental health benefits are just as important as physical health benefits. “I would say lastly it really helps to reduce stigma, which is an area near and dear to my heart as we talk about overcoming the conversation about how important it is to have mental health be a part of your overall health,” Stahlman said. “It really sends a positive message that we want it to be just as important.”
Everyone deserves complete and comprehensive health care, whether physical or mental. Employer-provided coverage plans continue to play an important role in providing and expanding access to these vital services in communities in central Florida and across the nation.
Learn more about Coverage@Work here.