EAP Facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

EAP FACTS

 

Description of EAP

State of California employees, and their eligible dependents have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This program is provided as part of the state’s commitment to promoting employee health and well-being. It is offered at no charge to the employee and provides a valuable resource for support and information during difficult times, as well as consultation on day-to-day concerns. EAP is an assessment, short-term counseling, and referral service designed to aid in managing everyday concerns for a wide range of needs such as family and marital issues, emotional, personal, and stress concerns, financial and legal matters, alcohol, drug abuse, and dependent (elder and child) care. There are three levels of coverage for counseling services. The number of face-to-face clinical counseling sessions available for the employee and their eligible dependents is based upon the employee’s employment category (i.e., collective bargaining identification code).

 

Authority

Governor’s Executive Order B96-82

Government Code 19816.16

CalHR Rule 599.931 - Non-Represented Employees

 

EAP Established

EAP was established through an Executive Order in 1982 which designated the Department of Personnel Administration (now CalHR) as the agency responsible for coordinating and implementing the program. 

 

Cost/Premium/Fees

EAP is 100 percent employer paid benefit.  There is no cost to employees.

 

Level of Counseling Services and Problem Types 

Employees in participating departments regardless of their time base or bargaining unit are eligible.  An employee, their spouse, registered domestic partner, and eligible dependents are eligible.  There are three levels of coverage for EAP counseling services. The level of service and number of sessions for which an employee is eligible depends upon their CBID. Covered state employees are eligible for a specified number of sessions for themselves and their eligible family members, per contract year, for the following four problem types:

  1. Alcohol Abuse
  2. Substance Abuse
  3. Marital and Family Issues
  4. Emotional, Personal, and Stress Concerns

 

Work Life Services

Work Life Services include the following and do not count against clinical sessions.

  • Legal services
  • Financial Wellness services
  • Child and elder care services
  • Identity theft recovery services
  • Career Assistance and Student Resources

 

Eligibility

Employees in participating departments who are appointed permanent full-time or part-time, regardless of their bargaining unit, are eligible.  An employee, their spouse, registered domestic partner, and eligible dependents are eligible.  Seasonal employees and retired annuitants are eligible for EAP services during employment.

 

Coverage/Benefit

When both spouses or registered domestic partners are state employees, both partners and family members are entitled to the counseling services under each employee’s employment category. Group counseling sessions of standard duration with one counselor are counted as one session.  There are three benefit categories and three different benefit designs which are determined by bargaining units. These benefits are per fiscal year, July 1 – June 30.

 

Level 1

Employment Category:

  • Bargaining Units 5 and 7 employees and all exempt, managerial, supervisory, and confidential employees of the California Highway Patrol.
  • Bargaining Unit 6 employees (R06), managers (M06), supervisors (S06), and confidential employees (C06).
  • Bargaining Unit 7 employees (R07), managers (M07), supervisors (S07), and confidential employees (C07) in any other departments.
  • Bargaining Unit 8 employees (R08), managers (M08), supervisors (S08), and confidential employees (C08), including seasonal and intermittent firefighters.

 

Face-to-face sessions per year (July 1 – June 30):

  • 7 sessions per problem type for employee.
  • 7 sessions per problem type for spouse or registered domestic partner.
  • 7 sessions per problem type total for dependent children, not including the employee and spouse or registered domestic partner

 

Level 2

Employment Category:

  • All California Highway Patrol, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (State Fire Marshal), and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employees (unless listed in Level 1 above).

 

Face-to-face sessions per year (July 1 – June 30):

  • 3 sessions per problem type total for employee, spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children.

 

Level 3

Employment Category:

  • All other employees.

 

Face-to-face sessions per year (July 1 – June 30):

  • 3 sessions total for employee.
  • 3 sessions total for spouse or registered domestic partner, and dependent children.

 

Types of Referrals

There are three types of referrals: self-referral, suggested self-referral, and formal supervisor referral.

 

Self-referral – Any employee, and/or eligible dependent, including managers and supervisors, may self-refer confidentially at any time by calling EAP or going to the member website.

 

Suggested Self-referral – Managers can play a key role in helping an employee get help for personal concerns.  An employee may ask for help, or managers may notice changes and suggest the employee contact EAP.  There does not have to be a performance problem and managers may suggest EAP in a private, supportive manner while supplying the contact information. 

 

Formal Supervisor Referral – A formal referral can be made by a manager when an employee’s work performance has shown a pattern of decline.  A formal referral is a way to try to address the performance of an employee.  The formal referral is voluntary for the employee, but it can be documented that an attempt was made by the manager to address the issue.  EAP can help assist the employee to address personal problems that may be contributing to the decline in work performance. The formal supervisor referral is a management tool used to improve work performance and resolve work-related problems.  It is not intended as a disciplinary measure, nor does it replace the state’s policies and procedures for dealing with poor performance or conduct.

 

Formal supervisor referrals are separate from corrective feedback and formal disciplinary actions such adverse actions.  EAP formal supervisor referrals, including contact information, should be done by a separate memo which is not retained in the employee’s official personnel file. 

 

Enrollment

Enrollment is automatic, there is no open enrollment period.  Employees and eligible dependents are eligible for services on the first day of employment.

 

Effective Date of Coverage

Effective immediately when hired as a state employee.

 

COBRA Continuation

Non-applicable.

 

Change/Loss of Coverage

Cannot change or cancel coverage.

 

Cancellation

Coverage cannot be canceled.

 

SCO Deduction Codes

There are no deduction codes.

 

Leave of Absence and/or Off Pay Status

No coverage during leave without pay.

 

Separation of Employee

Employees and their eligible dependents are no longer eligible.

 

Layoff of Employee

Following layoff from state service, excluded employees and those in Bargaining Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21 receive a six-month extension of their EAP services. This extension is for time only and not an increase in services. Services for all other employees end on the last day of the month after the month the layoff occurred.

 

Retirement of Employee

Employees covered by Level 1 services may use EAP for 90 days after the date of retirement, as may California Highway Patrol employees who are covered by Level 2. Benefits for Employees in Level 3 services will end the month following their retirement.

 

Seasonal and Retired Annuitants

Seasonal employees and retired annuitants are eligible for EAP services during employment.

 

Survivor Benefits

Surviving family members of employees who had Level 1 benefits, and family members of CHP employees who had Level 2 benefits may use EAP services for six months after the death of an employee.  Eligibility for EAP services for surviving family members of all other employees' stops at the end of the month after the month the death occurred.

 

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the hallmark of the program and is essential to the success of EAP. No one besides the person accessing EAP knows they have used the services. No reports are made to departments, except aggregate utilization reports that do not identify individuals. The legal exceptions are the same as those that guide all clinicians: if a member expresses intent to commit child or elder abuse; or expresses plausible suicidal or homicidal intent; or a court order.

 

Employee Cost

The State of California contracts directly with contractor for EAP services. Provided the employee/department uses the contractor’s clinicians, there is no cost to the employee or their family members for the initial authorized sessions. If, however, there is a need for continued services with contractor providers beyond these sessions, fees and other arrangements need to be discussed with the provider. Whether treatment is sought through an outside provider or with the contractor’s provider, the employee/dependent is responsible for the cost incurred.

 

Department Monthly Premium Cost

Departments are charged premiums one month in arrears based on the total number of employees for each level of service as follows:

Level 1 - $3.07

Level 2 - $1.31

Level 3 - $0.77

 

In addition, there is a CalHR administrative fee of $0.15 per employee per month.

 

Agency Billing

All departments participating in the master agreement are billed for this benefit.  CalHR maintains and negotiates the Master Agreement with the EAP contractor.  SCO draws funds from each agency monthly. Billing is based on the total number of employees for that agency and coverage level.  SCO sends the premium and administration fees to CalHR.  CalHR sends the premium to the contractor monthly.  The California State Fair and Exposition and the Department of Food and Agriculture premiums are billed directly.

 

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD)

CISD services and other specialized orientation and training services are arranged directly between each department requiring the services and the contractor. Departments may obtain these services by contracting directly on a fee-for-service basis with the contractor.

 

CISD services can be provided on a fee-for-service basis when an eligible employee has an immediate need for psychological support stemming from a reaction to a life-threatening situation or traumatic incident related to his/her environment.  The incident may be the death of an employee, an assault in or around the workplace, or a natural disaster.  The debriefing, either group or individual, may be accomplished by telephone or face-to-face and should be provided as soon after the event as is practically feasible and clinically appropriate, typically within 72 hours of such an occurrence.

 

Departmental Employee Assistance Program Coordinator (DEAPC)

Each state department is required to have a DEAPC.  DEAPC roles and responsibilities include:

  • Plan, develop, implement, and manage department’s EAP program
  • Ensure employees and all levels of management are educated about EAP benefits and services available, and how to access services.
  • Conduct and/or coordinate EAP training and orientation sessions for managers, supervisors, and employees.
  • Protect and maintain the confidentiality of all EAP and employee information.
  • Serve as the liaison between your department, CalHR, and the EAP contractor.
  • Promote EAP within your department, i.e., emails, educational materials, flyers, health fairs, brown bag lunches, etc.
  • Advertise and encourage your employees, managers, and supervisors to attend EAP sessions.
  • Consult with your department’s managers and supervisors on how to appropriately use EAP as a resource tool in addressing job performance issues.
  • Ensure a separate contract (STD. 213) between your department and the contractor is in place for fee-for-services.
  • Contact the contractor to set up CISDs or other special services for your department.
  • Ensure that invoices received from contractor for CISDs and other fee for services are paid timely.
  • Distribute brochures, business cards, monthly updates, and other EAP materials to your department’s employees.
  • Post the EAP posters in highly visible areas to facilitate promotion of EAP services.
  • Follow department’s policies and procedures when distributing EAP information and materials.

 

 

Internal Programs

Currently, the State Compensation Insurance Fund is the only entity that administers their own internal program.  Each appointing authority maintaining an internal program must have an approved EAP policy and procedure statement on file with CalHR. This should include, at a minimum, the following information:

  1. A written policy establishing the department's program support and defining types of problems addressed by EAP, including how the internal program best fits department program needs.
  2. Adopted and published procedures including:
  3. How and where records are to be maintained, for what length of time, who will have access, and how and when information will be released and to whom.
  4. Procedures for supervisors to follow when referring employees to the program. This should include the identification of deficiencies in job performance, documentation, work improvement discussion, and subsequent performance evaluations.
  5. Self-referral procedures indicating how individuals may access the services with assurance that confidentiality will be maintained.
  6. A client satisfaction document to be distributed to all users that surveys all phases of program participation including the user's opinion of number of sessions allotted, therapist's help and interest, accessibility of coordinators, management support for time off, confidentiality, etc.
  7. Methods of communication devices to be used in disseminating program information to employees throughout the organization (e.g., orientations, e-mails, brochures, newsletters, articles, paycheck stuffers, etc.).
  8. Method of verification of providers' and clinicians' professional status.
  9. Statistical information regarding the utilization of services.
  10. Details of any other desirable components that enhance the program's effectiveness.

 

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Q1. Where can I find eligibility information?

A1. Eligibility information is included in the Employee Brochure and the Counseling tile on EAP website - https://soceap.magellanascend.com/Content/View/11665 .

 

Q2. What can be done if an employee is challenged with finding a counseling appointment?

A2. Typically, a counseling provider will respond to a request within a day or two and schedule an appointment. There are times when appointment availability can be a challenge and when that happens, Magellan is here to help. Employees and eligible family members can call and ask for Appointment Assist. EAP staff will take relevant information and will contact providers directly to find appointments. BetterHelp Virtual Therapy is another option since treatment can begin within 2-3 business days and appointments can be scheduled online. For more information, please visit BetterHelp Virtual Therapy tile on EAP website - https://soceap.magellanascend.com/Content/View/16972 .

 

Q3.  Is a code required to access LifeMart Discount Center, BetterHelp Virtual Therapy, and myStrength self-care programs?

A3. A code and/or payment is not required to use these programs or any EAP program. If employee is being asked for either, it is highly likely that the program app was downloaded prior to creating an account through the website. Once that step is completed, the app can be downloaded and used.

 

Q4. Where can I find recordings of monthly webinars and Statewide Workshops?

A4. Recordings can be found on Webinars and Workshops page, https://soceap.magellanascend.com/Content/View/11676 on EAP website.

 

Q5. How does the training request process work?

A5. Investing in your employees’ personal and professional development can lead to greater productivity, enhanced work-life balance, and increased job satisfaction. The EAP Options in Learning Training Guide, which can be found on the EAP Coordinator Resources page, https://soceap.magellanascend.com/Content/View/18358, should be consulted for available trainings. For existing training courses, please submit a Training Request form to Magellan at least 25 days in advance. Custom training courses will require additional time. If you need the Training Request Form or have questions about the training process or most appropriate training course, please contact Stella Antonakis, Magellan Senior Account Executive, @ santonakis@magellanhealth.com.

 

Q6. How do I set up a Fee for Service (FFS) contract to cover CISDs, trainings, Organizational Development and Conflict Resolution Services?

A6. To set up a FFS contract, please contact Stella Antonakis, Magellan Senior Account Executive, @ santonakis@magellanhealth.com. You will need to reference the Master Agreement and its two amendments, but you should not copy or incorporate the terms of this agreement in the FFS agreement.

 

Q7. If an eligible dependent resides in another state, can they access services?

A7. Magellan has a national network of providers so an eligible dependent can access counseling and work-life services in state they reside.

 

Q8. If my department needs CISD services but we don’t have a Fee for Service contract, can we still access and how do we do that?

A8. If CISD services are needed, please call 1-866-327-4762 and use prompt #5 to access the CISD team directly. Magellan will provide services, even without a contract. Magellan will work with you on payment arrangements, once services have been secured.

 

Q9. How many Virtual Therapy sessions do I get and can adolescents use this solution?

A9. Regardless of your level of counseling coverage, you’re eligible to have 4 sessions in total, per fiscal year. Adolescents may access with parental permission. For more information, please visit the BetterHelp Virtual Therapy tile, https://soceap.magellanascend.com/Content/View/16972.

 

Q10. Is myStrength (Self-Care Programs) available to adolescents?

A10. Yes, myStrength, the digital resiliency solution, can be used by adolescents. Please visit the Self-Care Programs tile, https://soceap.magellanascend.com/Content/View/18210 , for detailed information.