Large Employers Worry Over Worsening Worker Mental Health, Drug Costs

When asked about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their employees’ health and well-being, a whopping 77% of employers surveyed by the Business Group on Health said they are currently seeing increased mental health issues in their workforce. And based on other findings in the employer coalition’s annual survey, companies are counting on their health plan partners to help them address this growing issue.

According to Business Group on Health Vice President Brenna Shebel, “77% is a stark jump over last year,” when 44% of employers said they were seeing an uptick in conditions such as substance use disorders, depression and anxiety. This year, another 16% of employers said they anticipate seeing an increase in mental health issues in their workforces in the future, “so certainly a key finding here is the dire need for mental health services and supporting their employees as they’re navigating their myriad needs in the area of mental health,” Shebel added during an Aug. 22 virtual press event held to present Business Group on Health’s findings.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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