Caught in Between: Prescription Drug Coverage of Medicare Beneficiaries Near Poverty

August 1, 2003

Authors: Dennis G. Shea, Bruce C. Stuart, and Becky Briesacher

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Overview

As Congress continues to debate whether and how to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare, beneficiaries with incomes near the poverty level are in danger of being overlooked. These vulnerable low-income individuals, sometimes labeled the “near poor,” have too much income or too many assets to qualify for public assistance, yet are still quite needy. As a result, they find themselves caught between public programs that are available for the poor and private coverage that is affordable for higher-income beneficiaries.

Citation

Caught in Between: Prescription Drug Coverage of Medicare Beneficiaries Near Poverty, Dennis G. Shea, Bruce C. Stuart, and Becky Briesacher, The Commonwealth Fund, August 2003