With mental illness and substance abuse costing employers an estimated $100 billion annually in indirect costs alone, benefit decision-makers are seeing value in promoting employee assistance programs as a means to improve their workforce’s mental well-being.

Thanks to an extension pushed forward by the Affordable Care Act, which helped to bridge the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, treatment of mental and or substance abuse disorders now fall under essential health benefits. And this ACA distinction comes at an important time, as nearly one in five adult Americans experienced mental illness last year, according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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