Navigation Links
Most seniors have drug coverage, study shows
Date:2/10/2009

More than 90 percent of Americans age 65 and older have prescription drug coverage today, compared to 76 percent who were covered in 2004, according to a University of Michigan analysis. And poor seniors are just as likely to have coverage as the rich.

The analysis compares drug coverage among a nationally representative sample of 9,321 older Americans who were interviewed both in 2004 and after the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit started in 2006. The report, "Take-Up of Medicare Part D: Results from the Health and Retirement Study," was published in January 2009 as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

The Health and Retirement Study, conducted since 1992 by the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), is funded primarily by the National Institute on Aging.

"Despite widespread concerns that the plan is complex and confusing, our findings show that 60 percent of seniors who had no drug coverage signed up for Part D," said economist Helen Levy, who co-authored the paper with economist David Weir, who directs the Health and Retirement Study.

"Further, 70 percent of those who had three or more conditions requiring medication signed up for Part D," noted Levy, "compared with 37 percent who had no such medical conditions. This suggests that the decision to sign up reflects a rational economic choice, based on the need for prescription medication."

Median out-of-pocket drug spending dropped from $100 in 2004 to $40 in 2006 for those newly covered by Part D.

In 2004, the analysis found, 24 percent of Americans age 65 and older lacked prescription drug coverage. In 2006, just seven percent lacked coverage.

Using data from the Health & Retirement Study, the researchers were also able to assess how cognitive ability and economic status affected the likelihood that seniors would sign up for Part D coverage.

People with better cognitive abilities were slightly more likely to sign up for Part D benefits, the researchers found. Also, older people were less likely to sign up, as were single men. "These results suggest that additional outreach to vulnerable populations might be targeted to the very old, the cognitively impaired, and single men," the authors write.

Finally, they found that the program basically leveled the playing field between rich and poor, reducing disparities in coverage between income groups.

While the results suggest that Plan D has been an effective program, Levy and Weir note that additional analyses needs to be done. "We found that beneficiaries generally made good decisions about whether or not to sign up for Plan D, but this doesn't mean that they made optimal decisions about which Plan D plan to choose," said Levy. "The apparent economic rationality governing the sign-up decision may mask rampant confusion at the level of plan choice."


'/>"/>

Contact: Diane Swanbrow
swanbrow@umich.edu
734-647-9069
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Oral Health a Matter of Life and Death for Seniors
2. GAO Report Confirms: Medicare Underpays for Anesthesia Services; Nurse Anesthetists Assure Seniors Access to Safe Anesthesia Care
3. Seniors Need a Safety Plan in Face of Disasters
4. High Co-Pays Cause Seniors to Go Without Meds
5. Study finds drug spending caps cause some seniors to quit taking key medicines
6. Medicare Spending Caps Cause Seniors to Stop Meds
7. New Report: Dangerous Drug Side Effects and Deaths Doubled Since 1998... Seniors Hit Hardest
8. Medicare Cuts to Physicians Will Harm Washington Seniors
9. Obesity Wont Affect Seniors Memory
10. Study finds drug spending caps cause some seniors to quit taking key medicines
11. New York Times Exposes Harm to Seniors After Private Equity Buyouts of Nursing Homes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile ... orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their ... in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating ... of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production ... and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Pro-Am Heroes Golf Classic Tournament held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country ... local charity, Luke’s Wings, an organization dedicated to helping service members that have been ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , ... launch its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... held on June 26 – 30, 2016 in ... first electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to ... #715. Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), ... company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Colombia ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The vast majority of dialysis ... facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with ... including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This ... grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many ... and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: