[Updated] Mental Health Claims Increased 83% from 2019 to 2023

New research shows mental health insurance claims have continued to rise after the peak impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health claims soared by 83% from 2019 to 2023 and continued to rise post-pandemic, increasing 11% from 2022 to 2023, according to a report from LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

The demand for virtual mental health services skyrocketed even more dramatically during this period, jumping 9,500%, though virtual claims are now starting to level off.


“Mental health claims continue to rise, indicating a growing demand and utilization of mental health care, despite ongoing provider and medication shortages,” Adam Mariano, president and general manager of health care at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said in a statement.

The sharp increase in telehealth visits caused by the pandemic has begun to level off, but the number of virtual mental health claims remains high. Overall virtual mental health claims increased by 3% from 2022 to 2023, although these visits declined by 14% among children.

“The shift away from virtual and back to in-office care is most evident among children and teens under 18,” the report’s authors wrote. “This is a clear indication that healthcare organizations should be prepared with adequate resources for both care venues, with a particular focus on engaging with the younger generation in person.”


Research has shown telehealth mental health visits are as beneficial as in-person visits. Still, some COVID-era flexibilities that allow mental health providers to offer telehealth may expire at the end of 2024 unless the federal government takes action.

In-office claims, which dropped a dramatic 46% from 2019 to 2020, are now rebounding, increasing 59% from 2021 to 2023. In-person claims are now only 10% lower than where they stood pre-pandemic in 2019.

Within rising mental health claims, some conditions saw more claims increases than others, with stress, developmental disorders, anxiety and depression experiencing the highest increases.

Stress-related claims increased by 86% from 2019 to 2023, followed by developmental disorder claims, which jumped by 75%, anxiety claims, which increased by 72% and depression-related claims, which climbed by 52%.

ADHD claims surged dramatically among adults in the last five years, with 101% more claims among people ages 18 to 44.

There was a sharp rise in insurance claims related to gender identity and eating disorders among minors in the past five years. Compared to 2019 levels, claims for gender identity issues among patients under 18 increased by 152%, while claims for eating disorders in the same age group went up by 131%.

Other mental health condition claims also jumped among minors. Claims related to phobic disorders saw a 98% increase compared to 2019. Anxiety disorder claims went up by 82%, and those for developmental disorders increased by 77%.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the most recently available data. It originally included data published in 2023.

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