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5500 Preparer's Manual for 2012 Plan Years

5500 Preparer's Manual for 2012 Plan Years
The premier resource in the field of Form 5500 preparation, 5500 Preparer's Manual will help you handle the required annual Form 5500 filings for both pension benefits and welfare benefit plans.

CCH® BENEFITS — 02/24/10

Workers With Depression, Although Treated, Have More Disability Absences: Study

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: Depressed workers who are already receiving treatment are twice as likely as their “healthy” counterparts to use short-term disability and disability leave, according to an article published in the February issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Workers treated for “severe” depression were three times as likely to take time off for disability. The article, Assessing the Relationship Between Compliance With Antidepressant Therapy and Employer Costs Among Employees in the United States, is based on a study commissioned by drugmaker Sanofi Aventis.

“Even when depressed patients are treated with antidepressants, there are substantial productivity losses,” according to the article. “Therapies that can better manage depression may provide opportunities for savings to employers.”

The researchers suggest that the depression-related worker absences apparently might be due to patients’ failure to respond to the first type of drug therapy prescribed and patients’ failure to take their depression medications consistently. For the study, insurance claims and employee health and productivity data for more than 22,000 patients taking antidepressants were analyzed. Average disability-related costs for this population for one year were $1,038 for depression patients (but $1,685 for severely depressed patients) compared with $325 for workers not treated for depression.

Further research revealed that 40% of patients with depression have at least one other psychiatric condition, including anxiety. IMS Health, a prescription drug industry analyst, reported that at least 27 million Americans took antidepressants at a total cost of nearly $10 billion in 2008.

For more information on this and related topics, consult the CCH Pension Plan Guide, CCH Employee Benefits Management, and Spencer's Benefits Reports.

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