Pandemic is Driving Large Increases in Claims for Mental-Health Drugs

The Coronavirus Pandemic is driving large increases in claims for mental-health drugs. Claims for medications treating mental health issues such as anxiety and depression have reached 97% of 2019’s total claim volume, by the end of August 2020. This is according to new data from Express Scripts Canada. 2020 has also seen a 20% increase in new claims for depression medication, compared to 2019.

Younger claimants, those between the ages of 20 and 35, had the largest increase in claims for depression medication. This speaks to a broader acceptance of talking about mental health issues amongst younger generations and seeking treatment. However, seeking pharmaceutical assistance has potential side-effects for the user and long-term impacts on our health-care system.

It is no shock that we will far exceed the claim level for mental health medication in 2020 by the end of the calendar year. Depression is also a long-term condition that generally requires long-term treatment. The indication is these claims will persist and employers need to consider holistic approaches to mental health care.

Recently we wrote an article about overall employee health care and its importance to small businesses moving forward. Click here to read that article.

As per the article mentioned above, we know that many factors contribute to mental health, including financial and workplace stability. Employers need to take a hard look at their overall employee wellness offerings to decide if their current program will result in the long-term success of their business.

Business owners have a lot to worry about during and post-pandemic, the biggest concern is always keeping the business afloat. However, experts are predicting employee mental well-being has the potential for short and long-term impacts on productivity and profitability. It is important to face these issues now with a holistic approach to employee well-being, and not necessarily a one-size-fits-all group benefits plan that encourages an increase in drug costs.

If you are concerned the pandemic is driving large increases in claims for mental-health drugs and want to get ahead of this problem, contact the employee well-being experts at DENT Benefits!

The information in this material is derived from various sources. Material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources; however, no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please contact us for benefit, pension and insurance advice based on your corporate or personal circumstances.

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