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Winter 2020  Volume 13, Number 4        

Depression — No Excuse Not to See a Doctor

Many more people are depressed now than at the beginning of 2020 and experts blame the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, too many people affected by depression and other medical issues are not seeing a doctor.

According to a study published in September's JAMA Network Open, 28 percent of the respondents indicated that at the height of the pandemic they had symptoms of depression. Prior to the pandemic, only 9 percent indicated they were feeling depressed. The scope of depression and anxiety is larger than what researchers observed following Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the extended civil unrest in Hong Kong.

While the surge in depression symptoms has affected a wide swath of the population, low income and front-line workers saw the largest increase.

A U.S. Census Bureau survey of more than 73,000 U.S. adults revealed another downside to depression during a pandemic. The researchers found that adults who experience anxiety and depression have up to two times a greater risk of delaying medical care during the pandemic. Nearly one third of the Americans surveyed did not receive necessary non-coronavirus medical care.

Delaying medical care can have significant adverse short- and long-term health outcomes.

The researchers recommend the United States increase access to telehealth and that health insurance policies be expanded to cover telehealth services that address non-emergency medical concerns.

For those who have insurance coverage, telehealth services often are available at low or no cost. In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires coverage for mental health and substance use services and the plan's coverage must be equal to what is offered for physical health services.


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In this issue:

This Just In...

Your Life Insurance Options During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Health Benefit Options for Those Who Are Disabled

Tips for Saving for Retirement — Even When Budgets are Tight

Depression — No Excuse Not to See a Doctor


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