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Antidepressants an Insurance Problem

Posted - Feb. 23, 2004 at 12:20 p.m.



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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 23, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Many Americans taking antidepressants are finding usage could make it hard to get new health insurance.

With nearly 19 million Americans under a diagnosis of depression, antidepressant use is skyrocketing in the United States.

Most Americans with health insurance are covered through employer plans and have little problem getting coverage for antidepressants, but nearly 10 percent of those insured have individual policies and that's where the problem often crops up, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Those with pre-existing conditions such as serious heart problems or a history of cancer may not be surprised to be rejected, but millions of Americans taking antidepressants for a variety of reasons can also be rejected for having a pre-existing condition.

"Pharmaceutical costs are one of the most expensive costs in the system right now, especially long-term maintenance drugs," said Michael Chee, a spokesman for Blue Cross of California.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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