Digital Solutions Fill the Widening Mental Health Care Gap
The collective challenges we have endured over the last few years has unveiled the importance of better managing our mental health, just as we do our physical health. Before the pandemic, one in 10 adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder, and by July 2020, a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll found that 41% of U.S. adults had reported symptoms.
As the need for mental health care increases, individuals continue to face barriers to receiving the care they need, including unreasonable criteria to qualify for coverage, high costs, and most recently, a shortage of available mental health providers. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, more than 150 million people live in federally designated mental health professional shortage areas, and within a few years, psychologists, social workers and other mental health providers will be overextended as well.
Digital and Virtual Tools on the Rise
Advancements in digital and virtual mental health services are creating new avenues for individuals to receive care quickly. Smartphone apps and other digital programs offer accessible support between sessions, and virtual care visits not only provide a stigma-free option for individuals to pursue care, but they also expand the pool of professionals available to those seeking help.
Digital and virtual tools are convenient and effective. Nearly 78% of people surveyed in a recent consumer study who sought mental health support prefer a single app for self-management of physical and mental health.
Quicker Access to the Care You Need
We prioritize access to all types of care at Gravie and believe that mental health should never be viewed as “extra” when it comes to health benefits. That’s why all new and renewing Gravie health plan members age 18 and up will have access to new telehealth options, including mental health care services, through our partnership with Teladoc Health, beginning October 1, 2022.
Through Teladoc Health’s expanded care options, members will gain immediate access to personalized, targeted care in a single, comprehensive experience. Combining digital, app-based tools and coaching expertise from Teladoc’s therapists and psychiatrists, individuals can get the level of mental health support they’re seeking.
Whether members need tools to enhance mindfulness and manage everyday life topics such as pregnancy, aging or relationships, or seek clinical care for the highest prevalence conditions – including substance abuse – there’s a digital program designed to meet individuals where they are today.
With Teladoc’s mental health telemedicine service, 76% who participated in mental health virtual visits rated their experience as good or very good/excellent – only one percentage point lower than in-person visits.
Accessing and navigating these different care options is also quick and easy, so members can get the care they need, when they need it. Whereas the national average wait time for behavioral health services is 48 days, the average wait time for a first visit through Teladoc Health with licensed therapists, psychologists and social workers, is under seven days. Additional digital programs are available between sessions to supplement care as well.
Looking to provide greater access to in-person mental health care services? Comfort™ has members covered there, too. Comfort members can always access in-network mental health office and clinic visits at no cost to them, just as they can for any specialist under their plan. Members can easily find an in-network therapist by chatting with a Gravie Care™ advisor or by logging into their account at member.gravie.com and clicking on the Doctors link.
Brokers who understand the importance of offering mental health care services to their clients – services that are easily accessible and simple to use – can count on Gravie, where we always put the consumer first. Get started today.