Calculating the Costs of Mental Health Care With the growing costs of antidepressants and mental health care, many businesses are reluctant to provide health insurance coverage for mental illness. Yet others, like Delta, have found that paying for employee treatment saves money in the end. NPR's Joanne Silberner reports.
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Calculating the Costs of Mental Health Care

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Calculating the Costs of Mental Health Care

Calculating the Costs of Mental Health Care

Some Businesses Say Providing Coverage Saves Money

Calculating the Costs of Mental Health Care

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/3871739/3871969" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Treatment for mental illness is a major driver of health care inflation and second only to heart disease, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. And among mental health treatments, antidepressant drugs known as SSRIs are a big contributor to that cost inflation, the study concludes. Over the last year, pharmacies filled more than $146 million in prescriptions for SSRIs.

These growing costs have led many employers to view mental health benefits as a potential drain on profits, making businesses reluctant to provide health insurance coverage for mental illness.

In the third part of a series on SSRIs, NPR's Joanne Silberner reports on the role employers play in getting treatment for their workers with depression.