Benefits are always important, but now more than ever, employees are counting on their benefits to be there in a time when they may need them the most. That’s why we’d like to take the opportunity to remind employers about two benefits they may offer that are often forgotten about in good times but could be lifesavers for your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With California’s stay-at-home mandate in place, plus the additional concern about the high airborne transmission rate of COVID-19, your employees may be hesitant to leave their homes to seek medical care at an urgent care facility or doctor’s office. Telemedicine uses technology to have doctors diagnose and treat patients remotely when they are experiencing common illnesses such as a cold, strep throat, sinus infection, or the flu. All employees need is a smart phone or computer with Internet connection, and they can see a doctor from home. Visits can be requested 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the doctor can prescribe and call in prescriptions to a local pharmacy. An important reminder is that individuals experiencing a life-threatening episode should still seek emergency care, rather than utilize Telemedicine.
Employee Assistance Program
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an employee benefit program that offers short-term counseling, referrals, informational resources, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems affecting their mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders. The program is free and completely confidential. This type of a program can be especially beneficial to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic when issues such as loss or reduction of wages, school closures, and loss of childcare are common and create a tremendous amount of stress.
We are certainly in unchartered waters with COVID-19, but together we will get through it, and hopefully these two benefits can help make life a little easier and less painful for your employees during the crisis.