This week we chatted with Jerrod Helms, Head of Sales at Ginger. Ginger is a leading provider of on-demand mental health solutions for millions of employees at major companies, including Buzzfeed, Sephora, Pinterest, Delta Air Lines, and more. As a virtual care provider, Ginger has been on the frontlines of the pandemic, helping people with mental health concerns and gaining important clinical insights. Jerrod shared with us some of the tough problems facing the mental health care industry today and how Ginger is working to solve them.
Jerrod’s Path to Ginger
Jerrod’s career in healthcare started 20 years ago at a large health insurance company, where mental health care wasn’t necessarily something that was promoted. During his time at One Medical he learned that 60% of primary care visits include a mental health aspect, and he became passionate about helping people get better access to quality care. This led him to his current role as Head of Sales at Ginger.
Tough Challenges in Mental Health Care Benefits
As in many industries, the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the problems that already existed around mental health care access and delivery. Ginger was founded eleven years ago to help with these issues, which they think about in four major buckets: access, cost, stigma, and quality.
With employer-provided benefits, we have to tackle all of these at the same time. How do we connect people to high-quality care, when and where they need it? How do we do it in a way that is cost-effective and free from stigma? These are big challenges to solve, but Jerrod shared how Ginger is approaching them.
How Ginger Solves Common Mental Health Care Benefits Problems
Ginger provides immediate access to care, which is unique and essential to success. Many emergency departments aren’t even equipped to handle acute mental health concerns, and someone with a mental health concern, especially one like suicidal ideation, needs immediate help, not an appointment in four to six weeks.
With Ginger, a member can pick up the phone and connect with somebody who is equipped and qualified to help. Ginger has a team of coaches, licensed therapists, and psychiatrists to meet everybody’s needs. Members can access care right in the Ginger app, making it super easy and convenient to get the care they need.
Many products connect people to third party providers or contractors, but Ginger is different because it is a mental health care clinic. Practitioners are in-house, working for Ginger, which helps ensure a high-quality, consistent experience. It also provides a lot of data on how practitioners are working, which approaches are having success, and what to try in the future. So companies can be sure that Ginger is a benefit offering real, data-driven value.
How Ginger Has Responded to the Pandemic
Employer Benefit News recently reported that as of “June 2021, [Ginger’s app] saw a 355% increase in coaching users and a 410% increase in those accessing therapy and psychiatry services, compared to pre-COVID utilization rates.”
With the pandemic, more consumers turned to virtual health care solutions and some restrictions were lifted so Ginger has been able to deliver more virtual care than ever. Ease of access is critical, and hopefully this will help break down barriers and stigmas. As we’ve heard from many Better Benefits guests, telehealth adoption has been a major silver-lining of the pandemic.
What’s Next for Ginger?
For the past three years the team at Ginger has been laser-focused on one goal: creating a world where mental health is never an obstacle. Right now that means expanding who they can serve, including youth ages 13 and up and people who speak languages other than English.
Long-term, success will continue to hinge on continuing to improve access to care while reducing the cost associated with it. Whether it be a coach, licensed therapist, or psychiatrist, Ginger is committed to providing quality care when people need it. Cost of care delivery can really drive cost of benefits overall, so it’s important to find efficient ways of delivering quality care to keep Ginger’s mental health benefits affordable..
To hear more insights from Jerrod, including more on Ginger’s response to the pandemic, listen to Episode 26 of Better Benefits now. If you enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform.
Jerrod’s Recommended Resource
On every episode of Better Benefits, we ask our expert guests for a book or resource they’d recommend to others working in the benefits space. This week, Jerrod recommended Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig. This book captures what the best sales and business development people do in real sales organizations around the country. Jerrod reports that it really influenced his work, emboldening some approaches and refining others. Overall, it helped him be a better coach and mentor to his own team.
Note, this episode is for informational and educational purposes only. Jerrod Helms and Ginger are not endorsed, affiliated with, nor compensated by Brella Insurance Inc.