Privately Insured People with Depression and Anxiety Face High Out-of-Pocket Costs

Millions of people in the United States live with mental health diagnoses, with about one third of adults reporting symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Among these adults, over 20% report an unmet need for counseling or therapy.

This analysis finds that privately insured adults who were treated for depression and/or anxiety in 2021 spent almost twice as much on annual out-of-pocket costs compared to enrollees who were not treated for a mental health diagnosis ($1,501 versus $863). Out-of-pocket spending and service utilization increased with depression severity.

The findings only include services that enrollees claim under their employer coverage. As a result, they likely underestimate utilization of, and spending on, mental health services.

The analysis is available through the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub that monitors and assesses the performance of the U.S. health system.

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