Who Failed to Enroll in Medicare Part D, and Why? Early Results

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.97). 09/2006; 25(5):w344-54. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.25.w344
Source: PubMed


Early results on the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, from a survey of people age sixty-five and older who were interviewed just before enrollment started and just after it ended, indicate that Medicare has met its target of 90 percent coverage. Enrollment rates in vulnerable subpopulations-poor health, low income, or cognitive impairment-are almost high enough to offset lower rates of other coverage. However, sizable numbers of elderly people remain uncovered, contrary to their self-interest. Seniors give Part D mixed reviews, and majorities are less satisfied with Medicare and with the government as a result of their experience with this program.

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Available from: Daniel Mcfadden
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    • "Abaluck and Gruber (2011) document that the elderlies' health plan choices are not consistent with optimization under full information. Other studies came to similar conclusions (Heiss et al., 2006, 2007, 2009). "
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    • "We begin our analysis of the administrative data on Medicare Part D by looking at the enrollment decision; this complements earlier research that used survey data such as Winter et al. (2009) and Heiss et al. (2006, 2009). The Part D program is heavily subsidized, with insurers reimbursed from government general revenues for about 75 percent of overhead and benefits paid out, with fairly tightly regulated formulary and benefit design and competitively determined premiums . "
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    • "By now, there is a sizable literature in economics and health services research documenting the program's details and providing descriptive statistics on coverage. A number of economic studies have examined the take-up of Part D benefits, (Heiss, McFadden, and Winter, 2006; Levy and Weir, 2008), plan choice (Lucarelli and Simon, 2009; Abaluck and Gruber, 2011); and the extent Part D crowded out other private forms of prescription drug coverage (Levy and Weir, 2008; Engelhardt and Gruber, 2011). The consensus is that the Part D expansion raised prescription drug insurance coverage among the elderly by about 10 percentage points, substantially decreasing the share of the elderly without coverage. "
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