An Employee Assistance Plan is a professional counseling and referral service sponsored by the employer, providing service to employees and their family members to assist them in resolving or coping with personal problems in a confidential and voluntary manner. By improving employees' health and well-being, job performance will generally improve. Therefore, implementing an Employee Assistance Plan can result in a cost savings for employers.
Personal and/or family problems affect people in all areas of their lives, including the work place. Work can be impacted in many ways such as:
An Employee Assistance Plan generally provides services in the areas of crisis prevention (e.g. counseling services, drop-in groups), outpatient services (e.g., assessment, diagnosis, information, education and ongoing treatment), inpatient services (e.g. hospital care, home care) and self-help groups. These services can assist employees with a variety of problems including:
Larger employers often have their own, on-site, services. However, most Employee Assistance Plan providers are specialty organizations, external to the insurer and plan sponsor.
Employee Assistance Plans can be funded by employer contributions only or both employer and employee contributions. Premiums are experience-rated, in other words, adjusted annually based on the level of claims for the group.