During the third quarter of 2008, Aetna saw a 60 percent increase in the number of members seeking assistance for personal stress in comparison to the same quarter in 2007. For the same time period, there was a 55 percent increase in reported financial stress assistance requests, a 12 percent increase in reported anxiety and panic disorders, a 7 percent increase in reported depression and a 5 percent increase in members seeking assistance for legal difficulties.
"It is a priority for Aetna to provide psychosocial support to our members during these challenging times and the increase in call volume demonstrates there is real concern among our members for their financial and overall well-being," said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. "Historically, research has shown that during periods of economic difficulty there is an increase in depression, anxiety, marital issues and an increased use of alcohol and drugs."
Aetna's EAP offers referrals to community resources to help with a broad range of life management issues, including issues that are of particular concern in a challenging economy. The EAP counselors also refer members to professional services, such as psychologists, marriage and family therapists and substance abuse counselors.
In addition to its rich EAP information and resources, Aetna has a suite of information available online, including reminders and tips on how to maximize health benefits. http://www.aetna.com/dollarsandsense/index.html
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.2 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. www.aetna.com