February 26, 2024


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Protecting Americans’ Coverage Together (PACT), a coalition of employer voices dedicated to strengthening the employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) system, released policy recommendations to strengthen and modernize mental health care in the United States.

Employers have made significant progress responding to the mental health challenges faced by their workforce, but policymakers can take steps to break down obstacles to critical mental health services. This plan responds to the types of challenges that employers have consistently reported as necessary to take care of their employees.

The specific solutions are organized around three main pillars:

  1. Expanding access to telehealth services,
  2. Strengthening the provider workforce, and
  3. Better integrating physical and mental health care.

You can read the full document here. Upon releasing the proposals, PACT members released the following statements:

“Expanding access to mental health services is a pressing priority for American employers. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing mental health shortfalls in our health care system, and the current supply and demand gap between providers and patients continues to be a fundamental obstacle,” said Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Despite the significant progress employers have been able to make, additional solutions are needed to address the ever-evolving mental health challenges in the U.S. By further expanding access to care via telehealth, strengthening the provider workforce, and better integrating care, we can improve mental health care for the millions of Americans that need it right now.”

“While 90% of employers provide employee assistance programs for mental health services and 86% provide mental health coverage, we recognize that employers have a role to play in promoting access to these vital services,” said Corey Astill, Vice President, Health and Retirement at Business Roundtable. “Catalyzing positive change in mental health requires a collaborative effort between employers and policymakers. Through initiatives that expand telehealth access, bolster the provider workforce, and seamlessly integrate care, we pave the way for a healthier future.”

“Manufacturers have a long-standing commitment to providing high-quality, affordable health care to employees and their families, including access to mental and behavioral health services,” said Charles Crain, Vice President of Domestic Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “For many years, and accelerated by the pandemic, manufacturers have been responding to evolving mental and behavioral health needs and investing in this type of care. These policy solutions will help manufacturers better facilitate access to the flexible, efficient, and innovative mental and behavioral health care services that are so important to a strong, productive workforce.”

“The country is in the middle of a mental health crisis, and without access to quality providers, it will only worsen. Employers need more flexibility to address their workers' rising mental health needs and costs. Workers need better benefits and more access to more healthcare providers. Implementing actionable and accessible policies that increase the number of mental health practitioners and support Americans’ ability to connect with them to receive the care they need are important first steps to addressing this care and cost crisis,” said Joel White, President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage.

“The need for mental health care has exploded. As stigmas around the perception of mental health are removed and people are more open and likely to seek the services they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, access to care has not kept up with this demand. The evolution of telehealth has been a game changer, improving access and affordability, but hasn’t solved the problem. Employers are required to be more creative in the ways they invest in their teams’ mental health,” said Teresa Hovell, Benefits Manager, Vermeer Corporation.

To read more about these policy recommendations, click here.


The Protecting Americans' Coverage Together campaign is a coalition that includes the U.S Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, Vermeer Corporation, The National Association of Manufacturers and Council for Affordable Health Coverage. PACT represents leading employer voices focused on strengthening the ESI system and protecting the coverage and benefits that American families depend on for their health.