FAQs about Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are benefits programs that offer counseling services to employees for issues relating to mental health, substance abuse, bereavement, and other personal/relationship issues.

  • EAP plans are optional and not every employer offers them.
  • They're usually totally free for the employee, fully confidential, and fully paid by the employer.
  • They're also generally provided by a third party, i.e., not by the carrier or the employer, and are only available under certain plans.
  • EAPs are generally bundled with an employer's LTD plan, but are sometimes bundled with medical plans. 
  • Employers may choose to purchase a standalone EAP, or an LTD plan with bundled EAP

Services available through EAP vary from plan to plan. Information on the types and scope of EAP services offered for employees can be found in their plan documents, but is not covered in the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). Here are some examples of services that might be provided under an EAP.

  • Mental health-related services and referrals
  • Drug and alcohol-related services and referrals
  • Services and referrals related to personal issues such as divorce and parenting
  • Information on work/life supports, such as caregiving for elderly parents and financial planning
  • Wellness and health promotion services, such as smoking cessation and weight reduction
  • Work-related supports like career counseling.

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