Assessing Trends in Retiree Health Benefits and the Impact of Medicare Part D


The Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D) to be implemented in January 2006 may significantly affect employers' choices regarding the drug coverage they will offer to their retirees. To counteract the potential incentive for employers to drop retiree drug benefits altogether, the Medicare Modernization Act provides for a tax-free payment to employers or unions that provide retirees with a qualified drug coverage plan. Building on their previous experience in surveying employers about health insurance decisions and benefit offerings, the investigators will survey mid-size employers about their retiree health benefits in fall 2005, prior to implementation of Part D, and then re-survey employers in fall 2006, following implementation. The information collected in these surveys will provide policymakers with direct evidence of the effect of the Medicare drug benefit on employers' retiree coverage.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
Center for Studying Health System Change
Principal Investigator:
Jon Gabel and Heidi Whitmore
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
July 12, 2005

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