Are eap costs of services passed on to the employees? When I first heard about my organizations employee assistance program and the benefits it offered, my first reaction was "Hmm... and how much does this cost?" Will the benefits out weigh the costs? I read the email that talked about counseling services intended to help me handle things like...

  • financial problems
  • legal issues
  • drug and alcohol problems
  • emotional distress
  • work concerns
...and a host of other issues that could cause me to have poor job performance. I'm Yancey and I decided to investigate this EAP thing. I found out that it was an employee benefit such as tuition reimbursement,group health and life insurance and profit sharing. The email said the EAP was "free" to me and my qualified dependents. Hmmm... the EAP costs me nothing? I thought to myself does free really mean free.

I discovered that the employee assistance program is a part of the employee health care plan, paid for by the company. Unless the company has in-house services, the EAP can also be a third party business hired by my employer.

eap cost

If my employer is paying an outside business to provide EAP services for the employees, there were two things I wanted to know. How much is it costing the company and how confidential is it? I mean let's get real, if the EAP is working for your employer how private will your information be, especially in the event the company would be looking for a reason to fire you!

Depending on how much this EAP service provider is charging what is my employer saving. I learned that the majority of EAPs are not closely scrutinized by states. Before using a company's employee assistance program I'm going to get as many answers about it as I can.

Statistics show that providing EAPs can produce a variety of benefits for the employee and company. A few of these benefits include...
  • lower absenteeism
  • reduced turnover
  • greater productivity
  • higher worker morale
Nevertheless, there are differences of opinion as to the credibility of these studies, especially studies conducted by the eap services themselves.

eap cost



There is an assortment of employee assistance program types. What they cost is as different as their shapes and sizes. Issues that determine their makeup and cost include…
  • family coverage
  • location
  • number of employees
  • drug test policy
  • type of business
  • government regulations
The following chart shows the typical costs of a Washington, DC, area EAP.

Annual EAP Costs per Number of Company Employees
Number of Employees Cost Range Cost Mean Number of Employees Cost Range Cost Mean
More than 5,000 $14-25 $20.29 100-250 $24-60 $32.70
1,000-5,000 $17-39 $20.42 26-100 $29-75 $36.70
500-1,000 $21-36 $25.00 Fewer than 25 $30-100 $50.00
250-500 $23-45 $27.31 Consortium $10-25 $18.00
Estimates are from Corporations Against Drug Abuse, a Washington, DC, consortium and nonprofit organization.

eap cost


Internal/In-House Programs 

These are most often found in large companies with substantial resources. The EAP staff is employed by the organization and works on-site with employees.


An EAP consortium generally consists of smaller employers who join together to contract with an EAP service provider. The consortium approach helps to lower the cost per employee.

Fee-for-Service Contracts 

Employers contract directly with an EAP provider, but only when employees use the services. Because this system requires employees to make individuals referrals (rather than employees self-referring), care must be taken to protect employee confidentiality.

Fixed-Fee Contracts 

Employers contract directly with an EAP provider for a variety of services, e.g., counseling, employee assessment, and educational programs. Fees are usually based on the number of employees and remain the same regardless of how many employees use the EAP.

Peer-Based Programs 

Less common than conventional EAPs, peer-or-coworker based EAPs give education and training, assistance to troubled employees, and referrals-all through peers and coworkers. This type of program requires considerable education and training for employees.

EAPs will typically charge your employer more when they provide a wider range of services. Studies indicate that when it comes to advantages versus costs, employee assistance programs are worth the benefit. As the pressures and stresses in society continue to grow and change, so will the personal and professional issues employees face.

Employee assistance program costs to your employer will continue to grow as well. It is reasonable to assume that any additional services you may require beyond what your company makes available will potentially cost you more to. I’ve witnessed how different my workplace is versus five years ago and the problems some of my co-workers have and are facing.

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Companies that provide genuine EAP services to their employees show good business sense. It also makes sense for us as employees to learn all we can about our employer's employee assistance program. This site keeps you updated with answers to questions about EAP services including any potential cost.

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Return from EAP COSTS to What does eap stand for


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