Find Your Advisor

Maximize Your Employee Assistance Program to Make 2024 Your Best Year Yet!

My mission continues, my friends! If you missed my last post, 2024 Guide to Maximizing Employer Retirement Benefits: Don’t Leave Money on the Table!, you may not be aware that I’m on a mission to make sure employees and their families make the most of their benefits that their employers provide to them. One of the most overlooked employee benefits in America is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Employee Assistance Programs offer a menu of benefits to help you not just in your work but in your everyday life! These services can range from mental health services (therapy/counseling), legal services, childcare/eldercare resources, nutrition and wellness resources, identity theft support, debt/financial counseling, and so much more! 

All of us can benefit from the support these programs offer at a significantly reduced cost or free! Only 4-6% of employees and dependents of employees use the available Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) program services available to them, according to the 2019 Employee Assistance Professional Association (EAPA) National Behavioral Consortium Benchmark Study. Yikes! That means the majority of us who are working or covered by a family member’s plan have not used their Employee Assistance Program services. 

Mental Health Services

Since 2020, we’ve seen a significant rise in discussions around therapy and mental health! You now see BetterHelp commercials on TV or have heard the ad on your favorite podcast. So many people want to seek help in managing their day-to-day stresses but don’t want to pay an arm and leg to do so. If you’re looking for a place to start, ask your Human Resources representative or team about the Employee Assistance Program. Many programs offer a number of free sessions or a discounted rate, either virtual or in-person sessions with mental health professionals. 

Legal Assistance

Employee Assistance Programs usually have a list of legal professionals or legal programs that can assist you with your legal needs, such as setting up powers of attorney, living wills, and even more complex situations, such as creating a trust. As a financial advisor, I frequently ask clients about what their estate plan looks like and if they have met with an attorney to develop a plan. Estate planning is one of the most important things you do in your lifetime to make sure your family is taken care of if something should ever happen to you. Your financial plan will be exponentially stronger by taking those few hours to build your plan. Don’t forget Benjamin Franklin’s famous words, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” 

Financial Assistance Services

Financial stress is one of the biggest drivers of stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges. Financial stress can include identity theft. Employee Assistance programs can have helpful resources when it comes to some of those things that feel so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start. Maybe you need help with debt counseling, or you’ve had your identity stolen and need fraud resolution resources. Your Employee Assistance Program can offer local or virtual resources to help get your financial house in order. 

Millions of employees and their families have access to these amazing services and resources they don’t know about. Employee Assistance Programs lower the cost barrier for you to be well in all areas of life. As you are working and thinking of the life you are building, do not think you have to do it alone. There are resources that your employer thoughtfully guides you to, and they want you to use them! Employee Assistance Programs are your underrated game-changer! 

May 2024

Popular Posts