Employers Work to Expand Mental & Behavioral Health Care Offerings but Need Congress’ Help to do More

Washington, DC – The following statement from The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is in support of testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance for today’s hearing titled “Behavioral Health Care When Americans Need It: Ensuring Parity And Care Integration.” The statement should be attributed to Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO of ERIC:

“Providing high quality affordable, and accessible mental and behavioral health care for employees and their families is a top priority for large employers. As laid out in ERIC’s 2021 mental health report, employers responded to the increased need for care exasperated by the pandemic by expanding their benefit offerings; and they continue to work to improve access and quality in all aspects of the health care system.

But to make many of these improvements permanent and for employers to continue incorporating innovation into their benefits plans, ERIC’s large employer members urge Congress to expand telehealth and facilitate cross-state licensing to give patients better access to affordable, high-quality services. We ask Congress to avoid legislation that establishes counterproductive mandates that will increase costs without improving access or care, such as network adequacy requirements and not civil monetary penalties.

Telehealth enables individuals to obtain the care they need, when and where they need it, affordably and conveniently. It also helps solve the provider shortage problem, allowing patients to connect with a provider in a different city or state. Congress can take steps right now to improve access to telemental and behavioral health care permanently, including passing the Telehealth Expansion Act and Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act. Both pieces of legislation would have an immediate impact on the ability of American workers to receive the mental and behavioral care they may need. Additionally, Congress can facilitate the transition of some mental and behavioral health services to nontraditional providers, which will also help patients get the care they need.

ERIC is committed to working with Congress as lawmakers continue their efforts to address how best to expand mental and behavioral health services to Americans. Their health and wellbeing are essential to the future of this country.”

Click here to read ERIC’s full written testimony to the Committee.

Click here to read ERIC’s report, “Prioritizing Employee Mental Health: Solutions for Congress.”


All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to media@eric.org.

About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.