Usage of mental health support under Group Risk products should be higher, says GRiD

Claims for mental illness are nearly as prevalent as for cancer under employer-sponsored group income protection policies, but Group Risk Development (GRiD) suggests employers could make much better use of the mental health support that comes along with group risk products (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness).

The organisation points to three main ways employers may be missing out.

  1. Employees can be affected by their dependants’ mental ill-health  
  • As one in four are reported to be affected by mental ill-health, it might be that it isn’t the employee themselves that is suffering, but one of their dependants. This is likely to affect the employee too, and they can access support. Furthermore, in such instances, their dependants can too.
  • Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: ‘Although welfare counselling must adhere to certain guidelines to avoid potential tax implications, we really want to get the message home that, as employees can be affected when dependants suffer with mental ill-health, some help can also be provided to an employee’s dependants via an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Many group risk policies include access to these services at no extra cost.

2. Support can often be accessed by all employees, not just those who are insured 

  • Mental ill-health can affect anyone at any time in their lives – not just employees at a certain level that might be offered core employee benefits. Group risk help comes into its own here.
  • The support under a group-risk-facilitated EAP for example is frequently extended to everyone in a company, not just those directly insured (for instance, senior management). Again, often at no extra cost.

3. All group risk products can offer mental health support  

  • Mental health support is not just the domain of gilt-edged group income protection. Support is frequently also found attached to group life assurance and group critical illness products. Employers don’t need them all in place to access support, but they do need the right ones for them.
  • Employers increasingly recognise the value to their business in having a healthy workforce so group risk protection support is moving forward to include help here too, for example giving access to GP services, health tracking apps as well as mental health support.

Wingate are proud members of Group Risk Development (GRiD) which is the industry body for the group risk protection sector, promoting the value to UK businesses of providing financial protection for their staff, enhancing their wellbeing and improving employee engagement.

For more information about Group Life, Income Protection and/or Critical Illness schemes in general or the ancillary benefits attached to these please contact the team on 01883 332260 or info@wingatebs.com

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