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Ease Your Mind Increase benefits and save on health insurance with an EAP.

By Jacquelyn Lynn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of your employees is going through a divorce, and therelated stress and anxiety are creating a negative impact on hisperformance. Another is experiencing problems with her child-careprovider, making her frequently late or absent. Still anotheremployee is trying to cope with an out-of-control teenager,spending hours of each workday either on the phone or talking withother employees about the situation.

It would be great if employees could just leave their personalproblems at home, get to work on time and do what's expected ofthem-but because that's not likely to ever be a reality, youneed to look for ways to help. One of the most efficient andaffordable options is the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP).

EAPs are becoming an increasingly common component of employerbenefits packages, taking a broad-brush approach to assistingemployees with virtually all their problems, includingpsychological issues, marital and family issues, substance abuseand more, says Gus Stieber, director of business development forVMC Behavioral Healthcare Services, an EAP firm located in Gurnee,Illinois. Even if your health insurance includes mental-healthcoverage, EAPs usually provide earlier intervention (and thereforeearlier resolution) for a broader range of issues that sometimes goway beyond mental health. EAPs will refer situations to insurancewhen appropriate if they are unable to deal with the circumstanceor problem at hand.

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