International private medical insurance claims for depression rise by 50%

International private medical insurance (PMI) claims for depression increased by 50% between 2014 and 2016, according to research by Aetna International.

The research, which is based on analysis of Aetna International’s latest claims data for 2014-2016, also found that international PMI claims relating to mental health issues increased by 33% in Europe between 2014 and 2016.

The research also found:

  • International PMI claims relating to mental health issues increased by 28% in the Middle East and Africa between 2014 and 2016.
  • The prevalence of mental health claims increased by 26% in the Americas between 2014 and 2016, and by 19% in Southeast Asia.
  • International PMI claims for anxiety rose by 28% globally between 2014 and 2016.

Dr Mitesh Patel (pictured), medical director at Aetna International, said: “Part of the reason expats are more susceptible to mental health issues is the absence of the family and friends network they relied on for support back home.

“We believe that employers should be taking a more preventative approach, introducing solutions such as employee assistance programmes. At best, these not only tackle mental health concerns when they arise, but encourage broader employee wellness to address issues before they escalate.”