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Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
and Behavioral Health

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No matter the size of your company, acknowledging and addressing mental health is vital when it comes to workplace productivity and employee well-being. To safeguard employees from undue stress and avoid the pitfalls of unattended behavioral health concerns, small business owners can take advantage of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).

In 2023 alone, 92% of workers Leaving Site said that it’s important for employers to provide mental health support to their employees. EAPs present small business owners with a cost-effective way to provide employees with an added layer of support in the face of personal and workplace stressors. In this article, we’ll discuss the effects of behavioral health in the workplace, the function of EAPs for small businesses, and how small business owners can implement EAPs themselves.

What are EAPs?

Employee Assistance Programs Leaving Site are voluntary, confidential resources that give employees and their dependents the opportunity to seek support, information, and other forms of counseling. While prices are typically low for small businesses, the suite of behavioral health solutions offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois comes at no additional cost to employees and their family members.

Small business owners can leverage BCBSIL’s portfolio of behavioral and mental health resources to keep their employees healthy and happy. At a glance, EAP services offered through BCBSIL provide the following:

EAPs can be an advantage for employers looking for any number of behavioral health solutions. As a small business owner, what can you do to make these solutions available to your workforce without interfering with existing coverage? Well, to start, you’ll need to choose the right solutions to compliment the unique needs of your employees.

Understanding Behavioral Health in the Workplace

As we’ve previously discussed, prioritizing the everyday satisfaction, security, and motivation of employees goes a long way toward fostering a safe and productive work environment. It can be difficult for a workforce to reach its productivity potential when employees aren’t properly supported by their employers, and health insurance coverage goes a long way to providing employees with a sense of mental, physical, social, and financial security.

For example, extending health insurance to employees’ families can help mitigate a significant source of stress by providing employees with an added layer of financial security in the event of a health emergency.

Similarly, the emergence of digital health solutions and telemedicine helped employees and business owners alike access health care solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic without risking potential exposure.

Still, small business owners may not have the reach or resources of larger companies, and behavioral health issues don’t discriminate between large and small companies. To prioritize mental health and support employee well-being, small business owners can leverage EAPs to remedy employee stress both inside and out of the workplace.

Implementing EAPs for Small Businesses

Just as with any form of health care coverage, small business employers should determine which product or program is right for their employees before committing to a specific solution.

Each EAP comes with its own portfolio of behavioral health solutions, including specialty programs tailored to clinical eating disorder treatment, support for family members with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and a suite of risk identification and outreach resources. Your employees may not need all these resources at a given time, but by providing a wide array of resources you ensure that they will have many more options to tackle their individual behavioral health needs.

Once you’ve settled on a program that fits the needs of your employees, integrate your EAP into your current employee benefits package. EAPs are embedded into employee coverage for standard plans, but Administrative Services Only (ASO) groups can purchase the integrated program alongside Behavioral Health coverage.

Lastly, small business owners should educate their workforce on the available EAP resources once they’ve been integrated into their existing health care coverage. Employee awareness and education is paramount for small business owners looking to support their workforce, so be sure to keep your employees up to date whenever the EAPs become available.


Employee well-being should never be taken for granted, no matter the size of your company. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, we believe that mental health support should be a priority for business owners of any size. Not only does employee well-being positively impact productivity, but it also proves to your workforce that you’re willing to go above and beyond to ensure that their personal and professional needs are met.

If you’re interested in a quote for health insurance which offers an EAP, please call 1-833-923-1784.

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