Supporting Employees through COVID-19 with Disability and Behavioral Health Benefits

  Free to International Foundation and ISCEBS Members

Recorded Event - September 25, 2020
3:00-4:30 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has created several deeply personal challenges for today’s workforce, as isolation, illness, financial uncertainty and the general ‘unknown’ force employees to deal with conditions few have experienced before. As employers seek to support their employees and help them address these challenges, it’s important to acknowledge that disability and absence benefits represent valuable tools for employees, providing them with the extra support they need—when these benefits are properly understood and utilized. 

For this reason, it is the responsibility of the employer and the human resources (HR) team to work in partnership with their disability and absence carrier and/or administrators, to ensure that disability and absence plans address employees’ needs and that employees know what resources are available and how to use them. 

This presentation will focus on the unique stressors created by COVID-19; the behavioral health concerns, such as anxiety, that stem from these stressors; and how disability and absence carriers are evolving their offerings and technology solutions to make financial, medical and behavioral health support more readily accessible. The session will delve into what employers can and should be talking to their carriers about as well as what they should be sharing with their employees to ensure they are taking advantage of these benefits. The discussion will also highlight how addressing these challenges can have a positive impact on whole-person health and the productivity of an employer’s workforce.

Key takeaways from this presentation include:

  • The unique stressors amplifying behavioral health concerns in employees that are physically healthy as well as those that are managing a disabling condition, including those coping with the serious illness of a loved one
  • The common accompaniment of behavioral health issues in employees that experience a disabling event and the need to address both physical and mental health simultaneously
  • The changes made to disability and absence benefits and technology to help all participants—not just those who submit a claim—in their efforts to cope with the current environment
  • The resources available to employees through disability coverage such as remote counseling, debt and credit management, identity theft services and investment planning
  • How disability and absence carriers and administrators are proactively identifying select indicators of behavioral health and providing resources to help employees.


Greg Poulakos [view bio]
President of Disability, Absence, Life and Supplemental Health
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Atlanta, Georgia

Jamie Fleischer [view bio]
Clinical Operations Director, EAP and Behavioral Health Resource Center
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Atlanta, Georgia

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