January 3, 2023

New Digital Counseling App to Expand EAP’s Offerings

As part of Portico Benefit Services’ ongoing commitment to provide members with innovative, effective, and personalized well-being support, Portico is pleased to announce an expansion of the Beacon Wellbeing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) included in ELCA-Primary health benefits.

Beacon Health Options, the provider of Beacon Wellbeing, has partnered with Talkspace®, which supports behavioral health and emotional wellness needs from a secure, HIPAA-compliant app. Confidential online counseling is offered via text, audio, or video through the Talkspace app. Partnering with Talkspace also adds access to their provider network, expanding the network that is already available through Beacon Wellbeing.

“EAP utilization among Portico members has typically exceeded the engagement of other companies in Beacon’s book of business for many years, but especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating it’s a well-liked and frequently utilized program for Portico’s members,” said Lindsey Holman, senior director of products at Portico. “We believe Talkspace’s expanded provider network will provide an advantage, especially for those who live in remote or rural locations and face challenges finding care or commuting long distances for their sessions. By removing those barriers, we’re hoping more people can take advantage of this benefit and utilize counseling, maybe for the first time.”

Digital Counseling for the Whole Household

Members with ELCA-Primary health benefits and all their household members age 13+ have access to counseling though Talkspace.

“The people you live with can have a direct influence on your well-being,” Holman said. “By offering counseling to the whole household, Portico is hoping to help our members and the other members of their household achieve better mental health, and in turn, a household of support that energizes them to fulfill their vocation.”

Talkspace’s clinical network includes thousands of licensed and verified counselors, available in more than 30 languages, for issues including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma and grief
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use
  • Identity struggles
  • ADHD
  • Sleep
  • Relationships
  • Healthy living

The Efficacy of Digital Counseling Solutions

Over the last decade, Talkspace has supported more than 2.9 million adults, teens, and couples with counseling and therapy services. In a study* of 10,000 participants, regular engagement with a Talkspace counselor helped 50% fully recover from their symptoms within 12 weeks and 70% reach significant improvement on clinical diagnostic scales for their conditions.

Those who sign up for Talkspace can choose how to communicate with their counselor based on their comfort level via text, voice, or video messages, and can reach out to their counselor as often as they need. Response times from counselors are within one working day during their business hours, which often include weekends. Live sessions for real-time conversations on the Talkspace app can also be booked in advance. Participants can stay with their counselor throughout their Talkspace journey or easily switch counselors if needed.

Talkspace is a part of the Beacon Wellbeing EAP benefits, which means ELCA-Primary members and their household members over age 13+ — regardless of the household members’ enrollment in Portico’s health benefits — qualify for up to six EAP counseling sessions per issue per year, at no additional cost. One week of messaging with a Talkspace counselor equals one counseling session. Members can find more information on myPortico about how to get started at Talkspace.

*Data provided by Beacon Health Options; as of Sept. 7, 2022