While 80 per cent of U.S. employees view mental-health coverage as critical, only 61 per cent have access to mental-health care as part of their benefits package, according to a new survey by Aflac Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 employees and 1,200 employers in the U.S., found more than half (59 per cent) of employees surveyed are experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout, an increase over 2021 levels (51 per cent) and on par with the levels reported in 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mental-health issues negatively affected job performances for nearly half (46 per cent) of employee respondents in the past year — a significant increase over 2021 (34 per cent). Similarly, about half (51 per cent) of employers polled noted employee mental-health issues have affected their businesses over the past year.

Read: 87% of employees have experienced burnout over the last year: survey

Indeed, employee respondents who said they suffer from high levels of burnout reported lower job satisfaction (55 percent), lower confidence that their employers care about them (47 per cent), negative perceptions of work-life balance (55 per cent) and a higher likelihood of seeking another job in the next year (56 per cent).

The survey also found 57 per cent of employee respondents reported suffering high levels of anxiety about health-care costs exceeding what’s covered by their insurance. Despite this finding, 57 per cent of employees said they’re confident they’ll be very well covered in the event of a serious illness. Notably, 58 per cent of workers said they wouldn’t be able to pay $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs, which was most concerning for respondents from generation Z (78 per cent), African Americans (72 per cent) and Hispanics (65 per cent).

Although 76 per cent of employers said they believe their employees understand their health-care costs well, just 52 per cent of employees agreed, with fewer than half (43 per cent) confident they understand everything about their health insurance policies.

In addition, nearly half (48 per cent) of employees said they view supplemental benefits as a core component of a comprehensive benefits program, while nine in 10 believe the need for supplemental insurance like dental, life and vision is increasing. And a majority of employers that offer supplemental insurance said they believe these benefits help with recruitment (77 per cent) and retention (80 per cent).

Read: 84% of U.S. employers increasing benefits offerings to help with attraction, retention efforts: survey